Malware levels have quadrupled since 2007 with 60,000 new pieces of malicious code discovered every day, according to the latest stats from McAfee.
The security vendor's latest quarterly threats report (PDF) said that new malware is at its highest ever level, and that 14 million unique pieces were discovered in 2010, one million more than the same time last year.
Koobface and AutoRun malware attacks appear to have levelled off, but cyber criminals are still having significant success using techniques such as black hat search engine optimisation, shortened URLs to hide malicious links, and even using Twitter to gain intelligence on the most popular terms and trends being discussed.
The report also highlighted the increasing targeting of mobile phones, in particular intercepting SMS messages used by some banks as two-factor authenticators for transactions.
Mike Gallagher, senior vice president and chief technology officer of global threat intelligence at McAfee, warned that attacks are getting increasingly severe as cyber criminals become more savvy.
"Cyber criminals are doing their homework, and are aware of what's popular and what's insecure," he said.
"They are attacking mobile devices and social networking sites, so education about user activity online, as well as incorporating the proper security technologies, are of the utmost importance."
However, despite the surge in malware levels driven by botnets such as Cutwail, spam levels dipped to a two-year low this quarter.
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