In the battle against spyware, McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Cybertrust’s ICSA Labs, and Thompson Cyber Security Labs have made an alliance to create common identification and testing methodologies for this type of malware. Spyware, which is malicious software that affects the operation of a computer and is commonly used to gain information or to push advertising, has become a serious problem in recent times.

"Without some testing standards, marketers can make whatever claims they like and can find a tester to help them prove it," said Roger Thompson, chief technology officer of Thompson Cyber Security Labs. "As the situation currently is, the public is the big loser. This will set the stage for determining which products really do work, and which ones don’t."