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Spyware - the IT security marketplace moves at last

Spyware (opens in new tab)has always been the poor relation of viruses when it comes to countering the IT security problem.

Sure, there are a number of anti-spyware applications out there (fx: waves in the general direction of the software industry), but not that many users have real anti-spyware software installed on their machines.

It's therefore with some pleasure that I can report that several IT security vendors - McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, ICSA Labs and Thomson Cyber Security Labs - have pooled their resources and plan to standardise on a method of reporting spyware, and how their software counters the problem.

The move is a welcome one for the industry, as it will lay down the groundwork for set of best practices and standards for testing and reviewing anti-spyware applications.

Plans call for the alliance, to be known as Spywaretesting.org, to use definitions developed by the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC). (opens in new tab)

The ASC, which was originally created by the Center for Democracy in Technology - and includes AOL (opens in new tab), Microsoft and Yahoo among its charter members - has defined spyware as "a term for tracking software deployed without adequate notice, consent or control for the user."

The development of standards for anti-spyware and how such software is evaluated can only be good for the IT security industry, so I think that congratulations are due to those involved with creating Spywaretesting.org...