Count to eight, then say hello to a new malware signature

Volume, rate of malicious code continues to increase on the Internet

The number of new malware signatures created by antivirus companies in the first half of 2009 equals last year's total.

The news is no surprise, but the amount of malicious code on the Internet continues to grow. And the rate at which it's growing is increasing.

Triumfant created something called a Signature Counter, which updates each time an antivirus vendor creates a new signature for malicious code. Those signatures have long been a staple in antivirus engines for spotting and blocking viruses and other malware. The counter started the year at 2.6 million signatures, and the company announced that the dial clicked over to 4.2 million last month. That increase equals the 1.6 million new signatures created in 2008.

If the trend continues, the industry is on track to identify 4 million new signatures this year. That comes to one new signature every eight seconds. Keep your antivirus software updated.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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