Third of all malware created in 2010

Cyber crime

Last year saw the creation of 34 per cent of all malware which has ever existed, according to online security firm PandaLabs.

Statistics released by the company as part of its Annual Security Report 2010 also revealed the biggest threat still comes from Trojans, which comprised 55.91 per cent of the surveyed malware.

The data from PandaLabs also showed spyware made up less than one per cent of malicious software online, whilst 11.6 per cent was fake antivirus software known as 'rogueware'.

PandaLabs said email spam had still been a major problem in 2010 forming around 95 per cent of all email traffic globally. However, within the year, the figure dropped to 85 per cent.

The survey cited proactive measures such as the dismantling of botnets as helpful to the reduction, saying this had reduced the number of computers being used as zombies to send out spam remotely.

The report noted as both social networking sites and smartphones continued to grow in popularity 2010, hackers had been seen to further exploit them, using fake websites and apps.

It was also a year in which cyber-terrorism and cyber-activism or hacktivism' emerged as serious concerns. Most notably the Stuxnet worm attacking nuclear plants in Iran, the Operation Aurora Trojans launched at large multinationals and the various activities of the Anonymous hacker group.