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Spyware is continuing to evolve into a more complicated and sophisticated threat than previously, it has been claimed.
The security threat is becoming ever more prevalent and traditional detectors are failing to keep up with it, according to Webroot Software.
It said that it had discovered five million spyware-infected sites in June, with CoolWebSearch - which causes pop-up ads linking to pornographic sites to appear and collects users' private information - found to be one of the most prolific dangers.
CoolWebSearch has more than 60 different variants alone, the company added.
'The technology behind spyware has become so far advanced and is moving so quickly that manual detection methods utilised by many security companies and freeware providers can't keep up with it,' Webroot chief executive Peter Watkins commented.
Recent research from ActiveScan found that the bulk of new malware detected during the second quarter of 2007 consisted of Trojans.