Internet security company Symantec's biannual report comprises information from some 20,000 sensors in over 180 countries. It revealed the last six months have been marked by a massive increase in malicious code created to expose confidential information. Such code now makes up 54 per cent of the top 50 most prevalent malicious code samples received in the study.
"Attackers are launching increasingly sophisticated attacks in an effort to compromise the integrity of corporate and personal information," said Arthur Wong, vice president of Symantec Security Response.
Web application vulnerabilities are also on the rise, representing 48 percent of all vulnerabilities, up 9 percent from the previous six months. Web application attacks are particularly popular because they bypass traditional security methods such as firewalls.
Last week SC reported botnets, networks of compromised computers that can be remotely controlled by attackers, are being increasingly used for malicious means.