Security and spyware expert Richard Stiennon knew there was lots and lots of adware making its way onto computers. What surprised him was the heavy profits for big senders of the typically secret code that points to pop-ups and often paralyzes computers. Stiennon -- vice president of threat research for Webroot, recently blogged about the adware market and projected profits for it. He said his research made him realize why the agonizing adware won't go away: pure profit in a total adware market estimated at $2.4 billion annually.
"I was completely floored. I had no idea, when I calculated, how big the entire market was," said Stiennon, who gathered information on nearly 1.5 million machines through his company's research lab and access to volumes of data on adware, system monitors, Trojans, and cookies. "I figured [the adware market] would be exceeding $100 million, but billions just blew me away."