More than 25 million new strains of malware were created last year, says PandaLabs.
According to the security vendor's Annual Malware Report, the number of new versions of malware identified has topped the 15 million identified throughout the company's 20-year history.
PandaLabs said that 66 percent of the new malware identified were banking Trojans, and the next popular type was scareware, also known as fake antivirus software that encourages web users to part with their hard-earned cash to download hoax security software that serves no purpose.
The security vendor predicts that the amount of malware in circulation will continue to grow during 2010.
"Windows 7 will surely attract the interest of hackers when it comes to designing new malware, and attacks on Mac will increase. 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," said PandaLabs.
The report also revealed that 92 percent of all emails sent in 2009 were classed as spam, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter became popular with cybercriminals as a distribution channel for malware.
This story, "25 Million Strains of Malware Identified in 2009" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).