Detekt tool hunts down government spyware on your PC

Government surveillance is a hot topic, and as news about the extent of such monitoring keeps coming, many individuals have wondered at one point or another whether any of their own data is under some agency's watchful eye. To help (potentially) ease your paranoia is a new open-source malware tool called Detekt, which its maker Claudio Guarnieri — with support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation — says will help you determine whether your computer is infected. The malware detector is available for Windows users.

The EFF introduced the tool on Thursday, saying that it gives at-risk users like rights advocates and journalists a way to quickly see whether their PC is infected with spyware used for government surveillance purposes — something the average commercially available anti-malware products usually miss.

Detekt is free, and is being hawked as a "best effort" tool. It won't, of course, guarantee that any government-related infection is found and removed, with the EFF making sure to point out that "spyware companies make frequent changes to their software to avoid detection."

The folks behind Detekt also say that some existing spyware will probably end up being tweaked to avoid detection by this new tool. Still, for those who want to give it a shot, the software runs just about the same as any other anti-malware application, with full instructions being provided on its website.