New research conducted by security company Aladdin's Content Security Response Team has confirmed what many in the security community have suspected - the amount of spyware detected on the internet is booming. The construction of spyware and Trojans now dominates malware production, with malware authors shifting their attention away from traditional computer viruses.

A report, entitled "Aladdin eSafe CSRT 2005 Malicious Code Report: The Big Threats Shift" found that the number of malicious threats rose from 1,083 in 2004 to 3,389 in 2005. This represents a massive increase of more than 213 percent. Trojans grew from 1,455 in 2004 to 3,521 in 2005, which is a 142 percent rise. Shimon Gruper, vice president of technologies for the Aladdin eSafe Business Unit believes that this represents a fundamental shift for many criminals away from traditional crimes and into computer crime.

"The swelling amount of spyware is a direct representation of the fast-growing network of organized criminals that empower themselves through computers rather than physical theft," said Gruper.
Gruper claims that this tremendous upswing in spyware and Trojans is causing significant problems not only for consumers, but also organizations. He believes that this is evidence of the fact that electronic threats are becoming much less of a game and more of a concentrated effort to commit identity theft and fraud. An earlier Aladdin survey from last year concluded that some 15 per cent of all spyware is designed to steal passwords and log keystrokes.