A study released this week found that the number of distinct spyware threats more than tripled last year, while the number of trojan threats more than doubled last year.
Released by Aladdin Knowledge Systems, the malicious code retrospective reported a dramatic rise in the number of spyware and trojan threats found by the Aladdin Content Security Response Team (CSRT) in 2005.
"The swelling amount of spyware, as illustrated in the Aladdin CSRT report, is a direct representation of the fast-growing network of organized criminals that empower themselves through computers rather than physical theft," said Shimon Gruper, vice president of technologies for the Aladdin eSafe Business Unit.
Aladdin CSRT wrote that the growth of spyware threats increased by 213 percent, from 1,083 in 2004 to 3,389 in 2005. Meanwhile, threats classified as trojans rose from 1,455 in 2004 to 3,521 in 2005 with a growth rate of 142 percent.
"We continue to see a tremendous upswing in extremely vicious trojans that are causing havoc not only for consumers, but also organizations," Gruper said. "It serves as further evidence that electronic threats are becoming much less of a game and more of a concentrated effort designed to steal identities and data."
The number of viruses and other threats also grew, if not quite as dramatically percentage-wise as spyware and trojans. In 2004, Aladdin found 6,222 of these different threats, while in 2005 it saw 9,713.