Spyware found in 30% of European businesses

Tuesday, 11 February 2003, 3:29 PM EST

Almost one-third of European companies have been infected with spyware applications on their networks, potentially opening their confidential information to competitors, hackers or advertisers, according to research by internet security firm Websense

Spyware is the term for software that is used to collect information about an individual or organisation without their knowledge. It can be deposited as an e-mail attachment or as a web site download.

According to the Emerging Internet Threats Survey 2003, which was conducted among 408 IT professionals in 20 countries, there is growing anxiety over other threats, including P2P file-sharing, instant messaging and malicious mobile code (MMC).

Websense reports that 70% of those surveyed believe P2P creates an “open door” to hackers; 62% believe that instant messaging can expose their companies to viruses; whilst 62% are worried that MMC may spread across their networks as a result of employees searching the internet via infected URLs.

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