Chapter 14. Surreptitious Code and the Law*

Fred H. Cate

14.1 Introduction

Computer users increasingly confront software that collects information about them or asserts control over their computers without their knowledge or consent [116]. Whether labeled spyware, adware, ransomware, stealware, keyloggers, trojans, or rootkits, they have in common the fact that they are installed and operate without explicit user knowledge or consent [138]. Unlike earlier forms of code-based attacks that operated without any human intervention, these programs frequently exploit human credulity, cupidity, or naiveté to persuade or trick the computer user into downloading, installing, or executing them.

We often describe these programs collectively as “malicious ...

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