Rather surprisingly, Kaspersky Lab has forecast that the security threat landscape will increase by more than 20 million programs by the end of 2008 when compared to the 2007 year-end figures, a ten-fold increase no less. That is worth repeating: the number of new malicious applications in circulation by the end of 2008 will increase by 20 million according to Kaspersky.

OK, I am used to getting emails and press releases which are, shall we say, a little on the alarmist side in the run up to the annual InfoSecurity Europe show. And, true to form that show is starting in about 10 days time. However. The Kaspersky Lab malware forecast for 2008 is truly what we call in these parts a 'gob-smacker.'

According to Kaspersky Lab analysts, in 2007 the number of new malicious programs recorded on the Internet, including viruses, worms and Trojans, amounted to 2,227,415, which represents a four-fold increase on the results for 2006 (535,131). The overall volume of detected malware reached 354 GB in 2007. The number of new signatures added to the Kaspersky Lab antivirus databases in 2007 amounted to 250,000. According to its forecast, one million new signatures will be added to the databases in 2008.

David Emm, Senior Technology Consultant at Kaspersky Lab comments on the trend, "In addition to the quantity, the quality of malicious programs is also improving. New and more complex samples, such as the notorious Zhelatin (aka the Storm Worm), are emerging that demonstrate a wide range of hostile behaviour and distribution methods."