Internet users are likely to see renewed attacks next year from the team behind the Storm malware, according to security experts.
The Storm malware started attacking users in January and the code has now been released in many forms. It is feared that the team will carry out further attacks, and that its success will prompt others to try and cash in.
"2007 was the year of prolific cyber-crime, and certain gangs became famous within the security industry," said Mark Sunner, chief security analyst at MessageLabs.
"Notoriety within a hot market always encourages an influx of new players wanting their slice of success, and the threat market is set to be even hotter in 2008.
"Significant increases will also be seen in the techniques the bad guys will use. Predictability is the Achilles heel of cyber-crime and the bad guys will avoid repeat attacks at all costs."
MessageLabs also predicts greater numbers of script kiddies using more professional tools to make it online. As the market for online crime matures, the range of available tools will widen and the skills needed to use them will shrink.
Instant messaging spam, which was predicted to rise sharply this year, has so far failed to become a serious problem.
However, this is likely to change in 2008 as spammers send out messages in blocks of a few hundred, waiting to see if a response is made, and then repeating as necessary.
Spammers will be forced to try new tactics because spam effectiveness rates are falling due to better filtering and user education.
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