Identity theft from malware infections could rise as much as 600 per cent this year, according to researchers.
Security vendor PandaLabs said that the number of personal computers infected with malware designed to steal personal and financial data had jumped steeply over the past year.
Roughly 71 per cent of the 35,000 new malware samples the company sees each day are now attempting to steal data for credit cards, bank accounts and financial site login credentials.
PandaLabs said that the rise in identity theft could be due to trends in the global economy and in the cyber crime sector specifically.
"Maybe one of the reasons for this increase is the economic crisis along with the big business of selling this information on the black market, such as credit card numbers, PayPal or eBay accounts," said PandaLabs technical director Luis Corrons.
"We have also seen an increase in the distribution and infection of this kind of malware through social networks."
The rise in identity theft marks what has been an explosion in the larger cyber crime field in the past decade. Experts said in March that the market for online crime had grown into a trillion-dollar criminal enterprise.
With £6.7m in initial funding, Mosa Meat could be the first company to offer lab-grown meat to the public
Manufacturing and finance jobs will be hit, but health and education can look forward to job creation, says PwC
US startups plan to modify existing jet engines, but are likely to fall foul of environmental legislation
The Brexit white paper "gets pretty close" to company desires, but there's still work to do