The number of peer-to-peer (p2p) websites that allow users to share copyrighted materials has increased, says McAfee.
According to the security vendor's Third Quarter Threats report, as the number of sites rise, so do the of malware-infected files being made available through these sites, as hackers attempt to fool web users into downloading hoax files.
McAfee says the closure of BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay has caused a surge in the number of P2P sites as illegal file-sharers seek new locations to swap copyrighted content.
McAfee also said that the surge in the creation of these sites coincides with major events in the film industry, such as the Oscars and Summer Blockbuster season.
The security firm predicts p2p sites will increase again as we approach Christmas.
McAfee's report also revealed that spam and malware levels have hit an all-time high, along with spammers exploiting the death of celebrities in a bid to spread malicious software. The security firm said spam now makes up 92 percent of all email worldwide.