Spyware levels rose by around 10 per cent in the first three months of 2009, according to security researchers.
The Panda Labs Quarterly Report (PDF) found that large outbreaks of spyware sent the number of infections soaring over the first quarter of the year.
Spyware infections represented 13.15 per cent of all malware infections in the first three months, a sharp rise over the previous quarter in which just 2.5 per cent of infections were attributed to spyware.
Panda Labs reported that the Virtumonde spyware was the single most commonly reported security threat over the quarter. The much publicised Conficker.C infection was just eighth on the list.
Despite the sharp jump in recent months, Panda Labs noted that spyware represents a small proportion of total malware infections. The top threats are still Trojans and adware, which account for more than half of all malware detections.
Panda Labs also identified a rise in instances of active malware attacks in which the downloaded threats actually performed their intended actions. A 14.33 per cent active attack rate is the highest recorded since August of last year.
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