Internet Users Deploying Best Breed Spyware Protection | Threat Research

Dramatic Rise in Keylogging Software Places Internet Users at Increased Risk to Spyware Infection During 2005 Tax Season

BOULDER, CO - March 15, 2006

Webroot Software, Inc., the leading provider of anti-spyware software and other security technologies for the enterprise and consumers, today urged Internet users to deploy a best of breed anti-spyware solution during the 2005 tax season to protect against the most damaging types of spyware including keyloggers and trojans.

According to Webroot's most recent State of Spyware Report, online users across the globe experienced a record number of infection rates for the worst types of spyware in 2005. The number of keyloggers increased at a rate of 50 percent per quarter during 2005, which represents a 200 percent increase for the year. This disturbing rise in the most malicious type of spyware is even more alarming when combined with the news that approximately 37 percent of consumers intend to file their 2005 federal taxes online, up from less than 28 percent just two years ago. Last year, 65 million tax returns were filed electronically -- more than half of all tax returns filed, according to IRS's year-end statistics

"Many Internet users keep their most valuable information on a single server or computer and often rely on a sub-par anti-spyware solution for protection, if they have one at all," said David Moll, CEO of Webroot Software Inc. "Spyware criminals are very aware of this and will leverage these vulnerabilities to their own benefit -- especially during tax time when they know the most sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account information and payroll records is readily available. To best protect against keyloggers and other types of spyware, we recommend users download a proven, best of breed anti-spyware solution like Spy Sweeper or Spy Sweeper Enterprise."

Webroot has developed a list of recommendations for Internet users to follow during the tax season to avoid spyware infection:

  • Make sure you are running updated versions of a proven best of breed anti-spyware and anti-virus software and scan your entire system at least once a week.
  • For Federal electronic filings, make sure to use services directly linked to www.irs.gov, and do not respond to email inquiries regarding your taxes.
  • If you plan to file your state taxes online be sure to only use links directly from your official state homepage. Links to the official websites for all 50 states are available at http://us.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml

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