A consortium of security companies has been formed to agree on a common standard for identifying spyware.
"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," said Larry Bridwell of ICSA Labs, an independent division of Cybertrust.
"This agreement is an important first step in maturing the industry to the point where it can combat the proliferation of spyware on behalf of customers, providing a safer and more efficient online environment for everyone."
The five companies in the initial group make up nearly half of all major antivirus and anti-spyware companies, and others are expected to join later this year.
"We knew about this and I think we'll be joining shortly," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"We're not in the list of original members but not through choice. ISCA looks to have limited the initial group to small number of members for simplicity's sake at this early stage."
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert
J1043+2408 was observed for more than 10 years, and its radio light curve exhibited a periodic signal repeating in about 563 days