Standardized Spyware Testing

A new initiative from McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro and others is seeking to create a common standard and definition of spyware, create new and more effective evaluation criteria and help develop spyware metrics to help find and neutralize a problem that has surpassed viruses and one of the biggest nuisances on the internet.

Several security companies and organizations will collaborate on creating standard spyware testing methods in an attempt to bring some order to a mixed-up security jumble, the firms announced Monday.

McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, ICSA Labs, and Thompson Cyber Security Labs will join forces to standardized evaluation criteria, develop spyware metrics, and create a common standard for spyware samples.

The initiative, dubbed, will also make it easier for customers to compare anti-spyware vendors’ products, said the companies.

“The successful industry practices previously established for sharing virus information demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperation,” said Vincent Weafer, senior director of development for Symantec’s security response group, in a statement. “By standardizing methods for sharing spyware samples and testing anti-spyware solutions, customers win.” The ad-hoc group’s future plans will include cooperating on spyware naming conventions, intelligence-sharing, and emergency information distribution guidelines. Source: Informationweek.

Will it help? Yes, it should help some I hope, as more and more spyware and malware are released, more eyeballs are needed to look for this stuff and those eyeballs need to know what to look for. They have opened a site at and have already posted a pdf on anti-spyware testing procedures.