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Unawareness Spurs Growth in Spyware

On January 31, 2008, anti-spyware experts announced that though there have been a remarkable decrease in the spyware-related problems in the US, but due to behavior of computer users, all kinds of malware authors are prevailing in the country.

Anti-spyware experts said that a spyware is very much like a Trojan horse as both get installed into a computer unknowingly, in an attempt to install something else. A user in an attempt to download Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file end up falling victim of malicious program while swapping available products in the market.

In news published by darkREADING on January 31, 2008, Consumer Reports' magazine estimated that around 850,000 households in the US had to change their computers by the first half of last year (2007). The cost estimated to fight spyware in the year 2007 was around $1.7 Billion. However, in 2006, US individuals and businesses lost around $2.6 Billion due to spyware.

Administrator of Lavasoft's (a security software vendor) online support forum, Janie "CalamityJane" Whitty, while speaking at a conference on Anti-Spyware Coalition in the Washington, D.C., said that as users are scared to make changes in their system, they rely on outdated antivirus software, obsolete operating systems, and outdated browsers. The comment was published by InfoWorld on January 31, 2008.

Whitty further added that the users run 2003 version of antivirus but they should understand that with the change in the technology, the nature of malware has also shown drastic change since 2003.

The Security Research and Communications Manager of McAfee's Avert Labs Unit, David Marcus, said that as the malware is being deployed in the system stealthily, they become highly difficult to detect. Marcus also added that spyware are added in the way Trojan gets installed into a system, and hence, there is a drop in traditional spyware, as reported by darkREADING on January 31, 2008.

A Policy Analyst at the Center for Democracy and Technology, Alissa Cooper, said that the spyware will soon be deployed into the machines of the clients in both legitimate and illegitimate manner, as reported by darkREADING on January 31, 2008.

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