Last year saw 25 million new strains of malware with banking Trojans and fake anti-virus the main threats.

According to the PandaLabs annual report, 25 million new strains were created in just one year, compared with a combined total of 15 million throughout the rest of the company's 20-year history.

Of the samples received, 66 per cent were Trojans and 17 per cent ‘adware', or rogue anti-virus. Viruses accounted for 6.61 per cent, spyware for 5.70 per cent, worms for 3.42 per cent and ‘others' for the remaining 0.65 per cent.

The report claimed that 92 per cent of all email traffic was identified as spam, with junk mail relating to celebrity scandals or deaths (real or fictitious), swine flu, news events and alleged compromising videos of politicians.

In a concluding report for the last 12 months, it claimed that the ‘future does not look too bright' and said ‘malware is evolving worldwide'. The report said: “If we also consider the exponential growth of malware and the new distribution channels available to cybercriminals, it is evident that the need for good protection is as strong as ever, but that it is also essential to invest in training and education for users, who are still the weakest link in the security chain.

“Curiously, just as President Obama has acknowledged the potential threat from cybercrime to individuals as well as to critical national infrastructures, we are witnessing increased media coverage of cyber-war and cyberterrorism. Scenarios that were once the terrain of sci-fi movies are now becoming a reality.”

The report also predicted that the amount of malware in circulation will continue to grow during 2010. It said that Windows 7 will surely attract the interest of hackers when it comes to designing new malware, and attacks on the Mac platform will increase.

The report said: “While we are likely to witness more politically motivated attacks the report concludes that, once again, this will not be the year of the mobile phone virus.”