Numerous security software firms warn of unprecedented levels of malicious programmes on the web

Malware levels ?epidemic?

Security software firms are pointing to heightened levels of malicious software swarming the internet, with some sources claiming there are as much as ten times the number of variants in 2007 compared to the previous year.

AV Test, which analyses security software, reported 5.49 million different types of malware in 2007, while F-Secure recorded double the amount of such programmes, and Panda Software said that the number of samples it received during the year was up a staggering ten fold year on year, stating the situation represented a ‘malware epidemic.

"It started about nine months ago, in early 2007, we saw massive surges of new variants," said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer at anti-spyware firm Webroot, reported the BBC. "There are days when we see 1,000 or more new samples. It’s a low-effort high-frequency type threat

"There’s no completely ground-breaking new stuff out there. Anti-virus relies on customers to submit samples. But with spyware you typically do not get samples because your customers do not know they are infected."

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