More viruses were written in the first 10 months of 2010 than in the whole of 2009, according to new figures from Panda Security's PandaLabs research division.
The security firm said that around 20 million viruses were created this year, meaning that roughly a third of all malware is new.
PandaLabs' Collective Intelligence database is currently recording 63,000 threats every day, compared with 55,000 a day this time last year.
However, many of the recent pieces of malware have short life spans, the firm said, suggesting that they are the work of amateurs.
Older viruses stick around for months, or years in some cases, but the latest creations infect a few systems and disappear. PandaLabs said that around 54 per cent of attacks disappear in the first 24 hours.
"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," said Luis Corrons, technical director at PandaLabs.
A study by industry body CompTIA released last week said that, while organisations face an increasing array of threats, half now regard information security as an organisational priority.
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