Security firms form posse to track and capture spyware

McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, ICSA Labs and Thompson Cyber Security Labs announced yesterday a plan to test technologies designed to ID and kill spyware. The big idea, they say, is to assist enterprises and consumers in making better-informed decisions about what products to employ.

Spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies are among the fastest-growing security risks, increasing at an estimated rate of 50 to 100 percent every year, according to the security pros.

"There is an enormous amount of confusion in the marketplace about the origins of spyware and the effectiveness of the tools designed to fight it," says Larry Bridwell of ICSA Labs, a division of Cybertrust. "This agreement is an important first step in maturing the industry to the point where it can effectively combat the proliferation of spyware on behalf of customers, providing a safer and more efficient online environment for everyone."

By employing standard metrics for third-party evaluation, and a common sample standard, those previously difficult-to-measure characteristics can be made consistent across the industry, enabling customers to make transparent solution comparisons, the spyware hunters say.

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