Webroot’s latest State of Spyware

Webroot, one of the leading anti-spyware companies, released the latest State of Spyware Report recently. This quarterly document is probably the best read shedding light on actual spyware rates, parasite prevalence and new infection trends. We think that it would be interesting for you to find out some of the facts from the latest State of Spyware issue.

According to the report, one continuing malware trend is the implementation of auto-updating technique in different spyware parasites. Such functionality is used by different threats mostly to avoid detection and removal. Providing automatic updates malware authors make their parasites inconspicuous. Furthermore, frequently updated pests often receive new instructions on how to disable even the most latest and powerful security-related software.

Another malware trend is related to phishing. Phishing trojans become more prevalent every month. A large part of modern trojans are phishing trojans that use social engineering techniques to trick their victims into providing important passwords, login names, credit card and social security numbers, etc. Most phishing trojans are very similar to typical pests of this kind, so they often have some conventional functions that allow stealing user information without using social engineering techniques. The most alarming fact is that phishing trojans are now changing weekly.

Keyloggers are becoming more aggressive. As in the last year, most keystroke logging parasites still secretly infiltrate into the system and install low-level components that are very difficult to detect. Furthermore, most threats implement advanced features, which allow intercepting antivirus or anti-spyware scans and disabling installed security-related software.

According to the report, the first quarter of 2006 saw a 15 percentage point jump in the share of consumer PCs infected with spyware: from 72 percent in Q4 2005 to 87 percent in Q1 2006. The average instances of spyware on infected machines increased 18 percent over the previous quarter to an average of 29.5 instances of spyware per infected PC, up from 24.9 instances in Q4 2005. Webroot also witnessed a significant rise in Trojan horse infection rates with an increase to 29 percent, up from 24 percent during the fourth quarter of 2005. The overall incidence of the most prevalent Trojan horse, Trojan-Downloader-Zlob, doubled during the first quarter.

These alarming figures illustrate that spyware is a problem that Internet users are going to be battling for years to come,” said C. David Moll, CEO of Webroot Software. “Spyware has proven itself as more than a simple “flash in the pan’ security threat. This is a real threat that is financially motivated and will not stop spreading. It is imperative that users protect themselves with a proven anti-spyware solution that offers superior blocking, deploys frequent updates and protects against the most dangerous types of keyloggers, system monitors and Trojans.

Get the complete State of Spyware Report here