Spyware levels said to be climbing

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Spyware levels rose some 10 per cent in the first three months of 2009, according to researchers.

Security firm Panda Labs said that a recent company report found that over the first quarter of the year, large outbreaks sent the number of spyware infections soaring.

The report found that in the first three months, spyware infections claimed 13.15 per cent of all malware infections, a sharp rise over the previous quarter in which just 2.5 per cent of infections were attributed to spyware.

The firm reported that the Virtumonde spyware was the single most commonly reported security threat over the quarter. The much-discussed Conficker.C infection was just eigth on the list.

Despite the sharp jump in recent months, Panda noted that spyware remains a small portion of all malware infections. Though spyware had increased dramatically over the quarter it remained top threats such as Trojans and adware, which combined for more than half of all malware detections.

Overall, the firm detected an upward trend in instances of active malware attacks in which the downloaded threats were actually performing their intended actions. According to Panda, the 14.33 per cent active attack rate is the highest recorded since August of last year.

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