Detection names

On-access and on-demand scans report threats by detection name.

Detection name Description
Adware Generates revenue by displaying advertisements targeted at the user. Adware earns revenue from either the vendor or the vendor's partners. Some types of adware can capture or transmit personal information.
Dialer Redirects Internet connections to a party other than the user's default ISP. Dialers are designed to add connection charges for a content provider, vendor, or other third party.
Joke Claims to harm a computer, but has no malicious payload or use. Jokes don't affect security or privacy, but might alarm or annoy a user.
Keylogger Intercepts data between the user entering it and the intended recipient application. Trojan horse and potentially unwanted program keylogger might be functionally identical. McAfee software detects both types to prevent privacy intrusions.
Password Cracker Enables a user or administrator to recover lost or forgotten passwords from accounts or data files. Used by an attacker, they provide access to confidential information and are a security and privacy threat.
Potentially unwanted program Includes often legitimate software (non-malware) that might alter the security state or privacy posture of the system. This software can be downloaded with a program that the user wants to install. It can include spyware, adware, keylogger, password crackers, hacker tools, and dialer applications.
Remote Admin Tool Gives an administrator remote control of a system. These tools can be a significant security threat when controlled by an attacker.
Spyware Transmits personal information to a third party without the user's knowledge or consent. Spyware exploits infected computers for commercial gain by:
  • Delivering unsolicited pop-up advertisements
  • Stealing personal information, including financial information, such as credit card numbers
  • Monitoring web-browsing activity for marketing purposes
  • Routing HTTP requests to advertising sites

See also Potentially unwanted program.

Stealth Is a type of virus that attempts to avoid detection from anti-virus software.

Also known as interrupt interceptor.

Many stealth viruses intercept disk-access requests. When an anti-virus application tries to read files or boot sectors to find the virus, the virus shows a "clean" image of the requested item. Other viruses hide the actual size of an infected file and display the size of the file before infection.

Trojan horse Is a malicious program that pretends to be a benign application. A trojan doesn't replicate but causes damage or compromises the security of your computer.

Typically, a computer becomes infected:

  • When a user opens a trojan attachment in email.
  • When a user downloads a trojan from a website.
  • Peer-to-peer networking.

Because they don't replicate themselves, trojans aren't considered viruses.

Virus Attaches to disks or other files and replicates itself repeatedly, typically without user knowledge or permission.

Some viruses attach to files, so when the infected file executes, the virus also executes. Other viruses reside in a computer's memory and infect files as the computer opens, modifies, or creates files. Some viruses exhibit symptoms, while others damage files and computer systems.