Kaspersky – “No such thing as spyware”

Eugene Kasperksy kicked over a beehive in his March 3rd comments posted in his weblog. Kaspersky heads up an antivirus company of the same name. He makes a claim that spyware is nothing more than malicious code which has traditionally been detected by antivirus. He would say that if your antivirus cannot handle malicious code than you should look into other antivirus software. He accuses the entire anti-spyware industry of just being a way of separating the ignorant from their money.
Kaspersky is correct in one aspect. Antivirus companies should detect this crapware and should have done so all along! Keystroke loggers, backdoor trojans and other snoopers have no place on a system. A cottage industry of anti-spyware began because the AV companies weren’t meeting a need. Antivirus companies were ill-prepared to respond to this more pernicious threat model. And I suspect they were unprepared to deal with it from a legal perspective.
Hopefully the next generation of antivirus will be prepared to attack this problem and not require us to purchase extra products just for antispyware.