Spyware with a criminal intent, the most severe threat, was found to be doubling every month, according to the latest Aladdin eSafe CSRT study.
The report noted that 15 per cent of spyware threats are now designed to log keystrokes, as well as steal user passwords, logged-on user names, administrator passwords, instant messaging content and email addresses.
The study divided spyware into categories, depending on whether it posed 'minor', 'moderate' or 'severe' threats.
Colin Thompson, a director at Aladdin, told vnunet.com that this is a significant increase on the number of spyware attacks which the company observed two years ago.
"We have been watching the online security threat for two years and we can report a massive increase in criminal intent," he said.
Thompson explained that incidences of planting malicious code on PCs increased among the study group from 500 a month in July to 900 a month in August.
"Criminals are getting a lot more businesslike," he said. "Maybe businesses should too."
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