The UK has climbed the global malware-hosting league, from 10th to sixth place, according to the 2011 threat report from security firm Sophos.
The report also reveals that while the US continues to host the largest number of malware-infected pages, France has displaced China in the second spot.
Sophos also said that it expects malicious activity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to grow. This follows Facebook's u-turn yesterday on its plan to allow third-party developers access to users' phone numbers and addresses.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "Rogue applications, clickjacking, survey scams – all unheard of just a couple of years ago – are now popping up on a daily basis on social networks such as Facebook."
The report also warns that Windows 7 will come under increasing attack this year as uptake grows.
"Malware creators are now starting to hone their attacks to specifically target Windows 7, and this trend will continue as the platform and its users become an ever-larger target," it added.
Also set to suffer increasing attention from cyber criminals is the popular iPad.
"Full-scale computing power together with always-on, anywhere-anyplace-anytime connectivity and a more casual attitude towards computing brings with it potential dangers. We expect more cyber criminals to target the iPad in the upcoming year," said the report.
Cyber crime is a growing problem, and was recently seen to be a priority for the government when it announced £650m of additional funding for UK cyber security even while budgets and services are being slashed elsewhere as part of its austerity measures.
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