US tops junk mail Dirty Dozen - again

Star-spangled Spammer

The US is still the biggest single source of spam emails, according to figures released today.

Anti-Virus firm, Sophos, said that almost 43 per cent of unsolicited mail sent in the last month originated in the United States. This puts the US well clear of other high volume spamming nations. In second place, South Korea accounts for around 15.5 per cent of spam. The UK makes it into the top ten, accounting for 1.15 per cent of spam mail.

Best performing in spam-busting was Canada, which managed to reduce its spam output from 6.8 per cent of the global total six months ago to 2.9 per cent today. South Korea, meanwhile, has taken up the slack and tripled its contribution since February's figures were released.

The Dirty Dozen

  1. United States 42.53 per cent
  2. South Korea 15.42 per cent
  3. China (& Hong Kong) 11.62 per cent
  4. Brazil 6.17 per cent
  5. Canada 2.91 per cent
  6. Japan 2.87 per cent
  7. Germany 1.28 per cent
  8. France 1.24 per cent
  9. Spain 1.16 per cent
  10. United Kingdom 1.15 per cent
  11. Mexico 0.98 per cent
  12. Taiwan 0.91 per cent

Others 11.76 per cent

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said that the figure demonstrated very clearly that legislation has failed to curb the anti-social behaviour of bulk emailers, although he says such legislation must be part of any attempt to tackle the problem.

Some cases have been brought under the CAN Spam Act: In March, Microsoft, Earthlink, AOL and Yahoo all filed lawsuits against alleged spammers. But since only governments and ISPs can use the law, its scope is limited.

"Ultimately the only way that spam will stop being sent is if it's no longer profitable for the spammers to send it," Cluley told The Register. Which means someone out there must be buying this stuff. The message to these people, in a nutshell, is "Stop it!"

Nearly half of all spam is sent out from so-called zombie computers, so the most effective thing anyone can do to tackle the problem is to make sure they aren't contributing to it. "Everyone needs to ensure they have protected their PCs with anti-virus and firewall software to ensure they aren't adding to the problem," Cluley says. ®

Related stories

Meet the Peeping Tom worm
IBM dissects the DNA of spam
ISPs gang up on spammer-run websites

Sponsored: 5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup