This summer's active virus count hit record numbers, according to security firm Network Box. August was the worst month for cybercrime, with threats increasing by 51 percent.

Network Box said that the company's August alert status was at four out of five, indicating a “critical threat” status throughout the month.

Virus activity peaked with more than 14,600 new viruses seen on that day alone. All told, 1,080,899 threat signatures and 1,374,666 spam signatures are active in the company's database. 

Simon Heron, internet security analyst at Network Box, said in a statement: “We expect to see a slight increase each month, but August this year was the single biggest jump in cybercrime activity we've ever seen. It could be that criminals target this time of year to make the most of people being on vacation -- that includes those IT managers and technical staffers best able to deal with issues raised.”