Quarterly Review of Consumer PCs Shows Triple Digit Growth in System Monitors and Trojans; Total Scans for 2004 Top 4.6 Million and Detect 116.5 Million Instances of Spyware and Potentially Unwanted Software
ATLANTA and BOULDER, Colo., Feb 02, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The most malicious forms of spyware, system monitors and Trojans, increased in the last three months of 2004, according to the quarterly SpyAudit report, released today by EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), the nation's next generation Internet Service Provider, and Webroot Software, a producer of award-winning privacy, protection and performance software. The report also documents the complete SpyAudit results for 2004.
Results from the report, which tracked the growth of spyware on consumer PCs since the report's inception on January 1, 2004, show the instances of system monitors rose 230 percent, while the instances of Trojans rose 114 percent from October 2004 to December 2004. Trojans, keystroke loggers and system monitors are capable of capturing keystrokes, online screenshots, and personally identifiable information like your social security number, bank account numbers, logins and passwords, or credit card numbers.
The number of SpyAudit scans performed during the fourth quarter also rose with an increase of 72 percent from October 2004 through December 2004. In total for 2004, more than 4.6 million scans were performed, discovering approximately 116.5 million instances of spyware, adware or potentially unwanted software. An average of 25 traces were found per SpyAudit scan for 2004. The complete report is available at http://www.earthlink.net/spyaudit/press.
"The audited numbers from the past year clearly show that spyware is rapidly becoming one of the Internet's most dangerous threats," said Matt Cobb, EarthLink's vice president of core applications. "Utilizing spyware detection applications like SpyAudit and anti-spyware solutions like EarthLink's Spyware Blocker or Webroot Spy Sweeper are an essential protection tool for any consumer who accesses the Internet."
"The huge increase in the presence of systems monitors and Trojans on consumer PCs is extremely disconcerting," said David Moll, Webroot's CEO. "These results are due in part to a substantial increase in the number of recently developed system monitors and Trojans that have been added to the SpyAudit, as well as the continuing infection rate as viruses, worms, and freeware continue to propagate and install spyware."
The results from the SpyAudit report are culled from EarthLink and Webroot SpyAudit detection programs that run analyses of Internet users PCs and provide audited reports of spyware residing on the machines. The SpyAudit report charts the overall number of scans and figures for each of the defined software categories from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004.
Fourth Quarter Overall Results
During the fourth quarter of 2004, 1,390,883 SpyAudit scans were performed on consumer PCs resulting in 33,096,255 instances of spyware, adware or other forms of potentially unwanted software being detected. The instances of system monitors in the fourth quarter of 2004 rose from 48,260 in October 2004 to 159,262 in December 2004. The instances of Trojans in the fourth quarter 2004 rose from 55,228 in October 2004 to 118,043 in December 2004.
Fourth 2004 Fourth Quarter Quarter Results October November December Total SpyAudit Scans 342,495 458,226 590,162 1,390,883 Instances of Spyware and Potentially Unwanted Software Found 8,234,097 11,236,089 13,626,069 33,096,255 Average Instances Found per Scan 24 24.5 23 24
Installations by Category Adware 1,786,309 2,335,416 2,849,361 6,971,086 Adware Cookie 6,344,300 8,755,100 10,499,403 25,598,803 System Monitor 48,260 64,689 159,262 272,211 Trojans 55,228 80,884 118,043 254,155
2004 Overall Results
In 2004, 4,610,738 SpyAudit scans were performed on consumer PCs, discovering 116,519,040 instances of spyware, adware or potentially unwanted software. An average of 25 traces were found per SpyAudit scan for 2004.
2004 Overall First Second Third Fourth 2004 Results Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter Total SpyAudit Scans 703,002 1,368,775 1,148,078 1,390,883 4,610,738 Instances of Spyware and Potentially Unwanted Software Found 18,611,344 36,203,219 28,608,222 33,096,255 116,519,040 Average Instances Found per Scan 26.5 26.5 25 24 25
Installations by Category Adware 3,558,595 7,887,557 5,978,018 6,971,086 24,395,256 Adware Cookie 14,799,874 27,868,767 22,327,112 25,598,803 90,594,556 System Monitor 122,553 210,256 154,878 272,211 759,898 Trojans 130,322 236,639 148,214 254,155 769,330
EarthLink and Webroot SpyAudit products provide fast, detailed reports in minutes and are available, free-of-charge, to all Internet users at http://www.Webroot.com/services/spyaudit_03.htm or http://www.earthlink.net/spyaudit/.
Webroot Software, a privately held company based in Boulder, Colorado, creates innovative privacy, protection and performance products and services for millions of users around the world, ranging from enterprises, Internet service providers, government agencies and higher education institutions, to small businesses and individuals. The company provides a suite of high-quality, easy-to-use software that guides and empowers consumers as they surf the Web, protecting personal information and returning control over computing environments. Webroot's software consistently receives top ratings and recommendations by respected third-party media and product reviewers. In addition to buying these products online at www.webroot.com, Webroot products are found on the shelves of leading retailers around the world, including: Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City, Fry's, Staples and MicroCenter. To find out more about Webroot, visit www.webroot.com or call 1-800-772-9383.
"EarthLink. We revolve around you™." As the nation's next generation Internet Service Provider, Atlanta-based EarthLink has earned an award-winning reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services. According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study(SM), EarthLink is ranked highest in customer satisfaction among high-speed and dial up Internet Service Providers. Serving over five million subscribers, EarthLink offers what every user should expect from their Internet experience: high-quality connectivity, minimal online intrusions, and customizable features. Whether it's dial-up, high-speed, Web hosting, wireless voice and data services, or "EarthLink Extras" like home networking, security or voice over IP, EarthLink provides the tools that best let individuals use and enjoy the Internet on their own terms. Learn more about EarthLink by calling (800) EARTHLINK or visiting EarthLink's Web site at www.earthlink.net .
SOURCE Webroot Software; EarthLink
Jerry Grasso of EarthLink, +1-404-748-7208, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Kate Roberts of Webroot Software, Inc. +1-303-442-3813, ext. 153, email@example.com