Symantec says that 2010 will wind up being a record-setting year for malware
-- that some 95 billion phishing e-mails will have been sent before the New Year. Combined with other spam messages, those e-mails will account for 89-percent of all e-mail traffic during 2010. Of those spam messages, 95-percent are now being sent by botnets
, vast groups of hijacked computers. The number of new malicious sites blocked daily by Symantec rose by over 24-percent from last year to over 3,000 per day, and the security firm is now tracking just shy of 340,000 different strains of malware circulating around the Web.
Every year it seems we set a new record for malware infections and spam, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. As the technology that makes our lives better and more connected advances, it also makes checking your e-mail a dangerous and irritating experience. More computers, more smartphones and more Internet connections just mean there are more avenues for attack, and more things to infect.