There's been a massive rise in malware designed for identity theft, according to one security firm. Instances of the cyber-crime have risen by 600 percent since last year, said PandaLabs.

According to the security research firm, the economic downturn may be responsible for the surge, with hackers selling information such as credit card numbers and PayPal account passwords on the black market.

It's the second warning given by PandaLabs in a matter of months. In July, the company said that fake anti-virus software could elipse all other malware.

PandaLabs also revealed that on average it identifies 35,000 new security threats every day and 71 percent are Trojans designed to steal bank or credit card details, compared to just 51 percent in 2007.

The security firm estimates that three percent of web users have been the victim of malware designed to steal financial information and urges consumers to stay vigilant when receiving emails that may be from their bank or credit card company.

"If you have any suspicions don't enter your details and contact the corresponding bank, store or service provider that you are trying to access," the company said.