Spyware Busters Agree On Names
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A new initiative to provide a uniform nomenclature for spyware is ready to roll with major security vendors now signed up to agree on names and testing methodologies.

McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro and Thompson Cyber Security Labs will join ICSA Labs to create identification and testing methodologies for spyware mitigation technologies.

The group will work to develop a standard test environment which will act as a benchmark for comparison of anti-spyware product vendors.

“There is an enormous amount of confusion in the marketplace about the origins of spyware and the effectiveness of the tools designed to fight it,” said Larry Bridwell of ICSA Labs, an independent division of Cybertrust. “This agreement is an important first step in maturing the industry to the point where it can effectively combat the proliferation of spyware on behalf of customers, providing a safer and more efficient online environment for everyone.”

By employing standard metrics for third-party evaluation, and a common sample standard, those previously difficult-to-measure characteristics can be made consistent across the industry, enabling customers to make transparent solution comparisons.

In the future the group will leverage each other’s experience in anti-virus research cooperation for threat naming conventions, intelligence-sharing best practices, and emergency information distribution guidelines.

The group will use the definitions created by the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) and work closely with the ASC in its effort to develop guidelines for research tools.

The group’s anti-spyware testing methodology and best practices can be viewed at www.spywaretesting.org.