More than 10 million Internet users worldwide were hit with identity fraud-related malware last year, according to a new estimate from Panda Security.
The number of computers infected with active programs designed to steal personally identifiable or financial information that can be used for identity fraud, such as banker Trojans for stealing bank account information, rose by 800 percent from the first half of the year to the second half, the study found.
Of the 67 million computers that PandaLabs analyzed in 2008 for the study, 35 percent of those infected had up-to-date antivirus software installed. The number of users who have been actively exposed to identity fraud malware is about 1 percent of the worldwide population of Internet users, according to the study.
The researchers predict that the infection rate will increase by 336 percent per month throughout this year, based on the trend of the previous 14 months.