Friday, September 16, 2005

One-in-six Spyware is for ID theft

Now we know why spyware rates as a top concern for customers. A significant portion of spyware is designed specifically to steal identities, underscoring the trend toward more malicious use of such software by criminals, said security firm Aladdin Knowledge Systems.

Fifteen percent of the 2,000 known spyware threats analyzed over a two-month span sends private information gathered from the infected PC by logging keystrokes, capturing usernames and passwords, and hijacking e-mail address and contact lists.

Another 25 percent of the spyware examined gathers information non-identity information, but was classified by Aladdin as a "moderate threat" because these programs collect such data as the victim PC's operating system, domain name, process logs, security applications, IP address, and security updates installed.

The remaining 60 percent, said Aladdin, gathered "commercial-value information about the end user's browsing habits," the traditional definition of the often noxious but rarely dangerous adware.
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