Feeds

Spam: now made in China

And viruses make a festive season appearance

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The politics of unwanted email is changing with China set to overtake the US any day now as the originator of most Irish inbox clutter.

Figures for November from Irish email monitoring firm IE Internet show that although the US is still the world leader with 27 per cent of dodgy emails originating there, this is a huge drop on October's figure of 48 per cent.

The People's Republic of China is now pumping out nearly 26 per cent of all spam filtered by IE Internet - an increase on the previous month's figure of just under 10 per cent.

China is now second in the monthly world rankings of spam-producing countries, followed by Britain (21 per cent), France (15 per cent), India (seven per cent), and Turkey (four per cent). South Korea doesn't figure in the top six global spam machines for the first time in several months.

"The United States is continuing to decline as a source of spam emails," Ken O'Driscoll of IE Internet told ENN. "We've been predicting this for some time as US-based spammers are actively off-shoring their operations to avoid tough US anti-spam laws.

"I would predict that the US will not be the top source of spam next year," he added.

Overall, however, the quantity of emails labelled spam by IE Internet actually fell to 55.6 per cent for November, compared to 57.3 per cent last month.

Meanwhile, as the world's spam merchants have been getting ready for their Christmas onslaught, virus writers have been busy too.

Two new viruses made it into the top five this month: W32/Warezov and W32/Tricky-Malware. And both are spreading fast, according to IE Internet.

The overall rate of emails carrying a virus increased to over 11 per cent for November - a slight but noticeable increase on nearly 10 per cent last month.

W32/Warezov was the main offender at 25 per cent of all viruses detected, followed by the other newcomer W32/Tricky-Malware at just over 15 per cent. Old favourite Netsky.BR came in third after being detected in nearly nine per cent of virus-riddled emails.

"For the past number of months, the rate of virus infections has been declining as home users continue to buy brand new PCs which have virus protection installed as standard," said O'Driscoll. "New viruses - which appear all the time - were not good enough or well written to be able to rapidly infect large numbers of PCs."

However, O'Driscoll warned that the two new viruses on the block were worth watching out for.

"Basically, they are both worms which spread via email," explained O'Driscoll. "The home user still has to click on an attachment and open it. They pose as security updates to the operating system, so perhaps as a social engineering tool this fools people.

"The viruses allow your computer to be remotely controlled - possibly to send spam out anonymously but for anything really - even accessing your personal files.

"The really interesting thing about the W32/Warezov virus is that it actually connects to the internet periodically and updates itself to the latest version. This is what legitimate software such as operating systems have been doing for years."

O'Driscoll warned this remote-update feature may make these viruses harder to remove from PCs.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.