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November 25, 2010

PandaLabs report claims malware boom

One-third of viruses in existence were created this year

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New research from PandaLabs has revealed that up to 20 million strains of malware were created from January to October this year, equalling the entire output of 2009.

The research also found that the malware created during the first 10 months of 2010 accounts for one-third of all viruses that exist,meaning 34% of all malware out in the wild was created this year.

PandaLabs, part of Panda Security, trawled through it Collective Intelligence database to get these figures, and also revealed that it has now logged 134 million separate files, 60 million of which are malware.

While the average number of new threats created every day has risen from 55,000 to 63,000 this year, Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs said the speed with which the number of new threats is growing has dropped.

Since 2003 new threats have increased at a rate of 100% or more but that figure has dropped to around 50% so far in 2010, he said.

That doesn’t mean the battle with malware is being won, Corrons said. "This doesn’t mean that there are fewer threats or that the cybercrime market is shrinking," he said.

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"Quite the opposite; it continues to expand, and by the end of 2010 we will have logged more new threats in Collective Intelligence than in 2009. Yet it seems as though hackers are applying economies of scale, reusing old malicious code or prioritising the distribution of existing threats over the creation new ones," Corrons added.

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