Spammers will turn to spyware in response to government regulations and technology upgrades, according to security vendor SurfControl.
In an address at AusCERT2005, SurfControl's managing director in Australia, Charles Heunemann said: "The real money potential in spyware is that it installs programs that cause advertising windows to pop up randomly on your PC when you’re connected to the internet."
"While most people just find adware annoying and close the windows, it’s the volume the scammers count on."
According to a SurfControl, a study by the US National Cyber Security Alliance and AOL had shown 80 percent of computers connected to the internet have forms of spyware installed.
Heunemann also believed that the market for anti-spyware tools could be two times the industry estimated figure of $300 million by 2008.
The AusCERT conference is an annual IT security event that features international and local IT security experts. AusCERT 2005 opened on Sunday 22 May and runs to Thursday 26 May.