WebRoot Corporate SpyAudit Continues to Expose Spyware Vulnerabilities

February 15, 2005
February 15, 2005 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – After scanning the computer systems at more than 11,000 companies, SpyAudit reports that 23.6% have either system monitors or Trojan horses(9.1%).

"System monitors and Trojan horses not only present a huge risk of lost productivity, but also reveal much more devious intentions and potentially harmful economic repercussions," said Richard Stiennon, Webroot vice president of threat research.
Released in early October 2004 as a free tool, the Corporate SpyAudit analyzes individual corporate desktops and provides a real-time report of spyware programs hiding within enterprise networks. The Corporate SpyAudit is modeled after the hugely successful consumer Webroot SpyAudit program launched last year in conjunction with Earthlink, which has already performed more than 4.6 million scans.
After scanning my own computer with Microsoft’s new beta Anti-Spyware software I gave SpyAudit a spin. The results found that I have 35 tracking cookies that Microsoft’s software apparently didn’t think relevant. Then, just for comparison sake, I ran Lavasoft’s AdAware and it came up with 33 tracking cookies. Time to change those security settings!
Spyware is a rapidly proliferating type of software that may track online and/or offline PC activity and is capable of locally saving or transmitting those findings to third parties often without a user's knowledge or consent.
SpyAudit is available to all Internet users at: http://www.webrootdisp.net/entaudit/start.php.

Corporate SpyAudit Report Results

The Corporate SpyAudit results chart the overall number of scans and figures for each of the defined spyware categories from October 7, 2004 to February 11, 2005. The Corporate SpyAudit is an ongoing program with results published by Webroot on a quarterly basis.

 Total Number of SpyAudit Scans: 27,865
Total Number of Distinct Audits: 11,375
Total Instances to Date: 496,860

Average Instances of Spyware and Potentially Unwanted Software per
Scanned Desktop: 17.8
Average Adware Installations per Scanned Desktop: 2.18
Average System Monitor Installations per 100 scans: 14.46
Average Trojan horse Installations per 100 scans: 9.14

"The continued presence of malicious spyware programs on corporate networks is directly linked to the substantial increase in the number of newly developed system monitors and Trojans, as well as the viruses, worms, and freeware that spread them. We can also attribute the discovery of these new threats to the launch of the Webroot Phileas technology, which directly improves the SpyAudit's definitions database," said Stiennon.

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