Computer worm

It's unsettling to think of malware as cutting-edge technology, but its trickery has evolved alongside Internet trends like instant-messaging services Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Chris discovered this relationship when he clicked a faux-photo link in an IM message, letting loose a worm that instantly hijacked his buddy list. Would his friends now think he was perpetrating malware?

Find out Chris' defense and get the lowdown on IM spam (also called "spim") in this week's Spyware Horror Story.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.