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Amateur virus writers are going the way of amateur athletes, morris dancing and the May Pole, according to a survey by Panda Software.

Seventy per cent of malware detected by the developer’s scanning service in the first quarter had a cybercrime or financial motive.

Forty per cent of malware detected was spyware, the firm said, with Trojans accounting for another 17 per cent. Malicious diallers rang up eight per cent of the market, while bots took four per cent.

While a few years ago email worms were generating masses of headlines and hysteria, now they garner just four per cent of malware events, according to Panda.

Indeed, the very nature of the virus world – complete with handles and name-calling – generates exactly the sort of publicity the financially motivated malware-wrights shun.

Trojans, in fact, accounted for 47 per cent of new examples of malware, Panda said. That finding chimes in with other researchers, which have highlighted the popularity of Trojans and the relative waning of traditional virus attacks.

Clearly a backlash, complete with Campaign for Real Ale style organisation promoting traditional computer naughtiness is not far away.

The full report can be downloaded here. ®

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