Security firm warns of Christmas spyware

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Security software developer PC Tools has said that up to 50 percent of new spyware threats coming from China and Russia target specific information for identity theft.

The warning comes amid a flood of dire predictions, as fraudsters and malware writers gear up for a busy Christmas.

Michael Greene, vice president of product strategy at PC Tools, believes that 90 percent of holiday threats come from spyware rather than viruses, as hackers focus on looting vulnerable companies and stealing personal identities.

Jim Meem, director of PC Tools' Malware Research Center, said: "We are particularly concerned that places like Russia are selling spyware kits and multiplying this problem. We know that users are especially vulnerable during the holidays."

PC Tools advises users who suspect that they have been caught out by fraudsters to close suspected tampered bank accounts and file a police report. Users in the US should contact the Federal Trade Commission.
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