Kaspersky Labs, a leading information security software developer, announces the launch of a unique new service: hourly antivirus database updates. Up until now, antivirus database updates have been released every three hours for downloading via the Internet. Over the last five years, the number of malicious programs which Kaspersky Anti-Virus databases detect has increased almost 80 times. This is due to the fact that up to several hundred new viruses appear every day. In 2000, 63 updates were released; in 2001 - 205; in 2002 - 652; in 2003 - 818; and this year more than 1500 antivirus database updates have already been released. Kaspersky Labs virus analysts estimate that by the end of 2004 at least 5000 scheduled updates will be released. Alongside scheduled updates, Kaspersky Labs also releases additional urgent updates for antivirus databases. These updates are a rapid response to virus epidemics, providing protection within 30 minutes of threatening virus activity being detected.