Nearly half of world’s spam comes from Asia – Sophos

24 Jul 2012

Asia has increased its output of spam and is now responsible for relaying almost half (49.7pc) of the world’s spam, IT security and data protection company Sophos has revealed.

Europe is responsible for about a quarter of the world’s spam output, while North America produced nearly 9pc of the world’s spam, Sophos said.

The top 12 spam-relaying countries for April to June 2012:

1) India – 11.4pc
2) Italy – 7.0pc
3) South Korea – 6.7pc
4) USA – 6.2pc
5) Vietnam – 5.8pc
6) Brazil – 4.4pc
7) Pakistan – 3.7pc
8) China – 3.2pc
9) France – 3.1pc
10) Russia – 2.9pc
11) Poland – 2.7pc
12) Taiwan – 2.6pc
Other – 40.3pc

Source: Sophos

Sophos has also published the latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ of spam-relaying countries, covering the second quarter of 2012. The report reveals that despite only 5.3pc of the world’s internet users reportedly living in India, the country topped the list of spam-relaying countries, being behind 11.4pc of the world’s spam seen throughout April, May and June 2012.

The US dropped from the top spot of spam-relaying countries to second place in Q1, and has now moved down to fourth place, replaying 6.2pc of the world’s spam, behind India, Italy (7.0pc) and South Korea (6.7pc).

The UK has managed to remain out of the top 12 spam-relaying countries for the last four consecutive quarters, having last appeared in April-June 2011.

Why all the spam?

“The chief driver for Asia’s dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent,” explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“Malicious hackers hijack poorly protected computers, and command them – without their owners realising – to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC or Mac is properly defended against such attacks. If they take no care over their computers they’re simply adding to the world’s spam problem.”

Sophos recommends that organisations and ISPs implement technology and follow best practice to ensure that malicious emails are not reaching inboxes.

Spam image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic