The antivirus industry and the grayware problem

Grayware is a general term used often used for spyware, adware, remote access tools, dialers and other applications that cannot be defined strictly as malware, but do affect negatively computer performance, augment the attack surface of the computer and, in general, annoy users with pop-up windows and ads.

One of the main differences between malware and grayware is the fact that its developers and/or distributers are known and are often (quasi-)legitimate businesses who try to convince – nicely or otherwise – antivirus companies not to detect their grayware as malware.

In this podcast recorded at Virus Bulletin 2011, malware researcher Robert Lipovsky talks about how security companies view the subject on grayware and the latest developments regarding the distribution and anti-detection techniques used by its propagators.

Listen to the podcast here.

Robert Lipovsky is a malware researcher in ESET’s Security Research Laboratory in Bratislava. He is responsible for malware intelligence and research, in which, among other areas, he focuses on analyzing rootkit techniques.

He has given presentations at several security conferences, including EICAR, CARO, and Virus Bulletin. He holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.