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By 25 November 2010 | Categories: news

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According to Panda Security, the first ten months of 2010 saw the creation of one third of all the computer viruses to ever exist. This means that 34 percent of all malware ever created has appeared during this year.

The company's Collective Intelligence database automatically detects, analyses and classifies up to 99.4% of threats received and now has 134 million separate files, 60 million of which consist solely of viruses, worms, trojans and other types of malicious software.
 
The company claims that some 20 million new strains of malware has been created in the period spanning January to October 2010, the same amount as in the whole of 2009. The company also said that the average number of new threats created every day has risen from 55 000 to 63 000.
 
“This would all suggest that the cyber-crime market is currently in good health”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “Also, this figure may reflect the increasing number of cyber-crooks with limited technical knowledge who are turning their hand to these activities.”
 
The increase in the number of threats created goes hand in hand with a reduced lifespan though, as 54 percent of malware samples are active for less than 24 hours. This is due to antivirus software solutions detecting the new malware, forcing hackers to modify or create new variants so as to avoid detection.
 
Despite these dramatic numbers, the speed with which the number of new threats is growing has dropped since 2009. Since 2003, “new threats have increased at a rate of 100% or more. Yet so far in 2010 the rate of growth is around 50%”, explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.
 
“This doesn’t mean that there are fewer threats or that the cyber-crime market is shrinking. 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 prioritizing the distribution of existing threats over the creation new ones”, adds Corrons.

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