The latest threat management report from antivirus firm Sophos presents a worrying, but not entirely unexpected, picture on the state of spyware, with companies seeing a dramatic increase in infections throughout 2005.
Sophos attributes the growing increase in spyware to the ‘business model’ used by virus writers, which shows financial gain through long-term infection.
The global report found spyware rose to 66.4% of all malicious software threats in November. In January, 54.2% of all threats included a spyware payload and in the year to date, malware has demonstrated a 48% increase compared with 2004.
Sophos suggested virus writers are now writing fewer viruses for their own sake, and are instead turning to malicious code with a specific purpose. Viruses that include spyware characteristics and provide backdoor access over and above what a virus does, offer a saleable commodity that can be ‘rented out’ to the highest or lowest bidder.
There’s no doubt that spyware will continue to grow throughout 2006, unless innovative and imaginative ways are found to counter it.