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American spammers resurgent

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The US was top of the spam charts for the month of June, according to new e-mail security statistics from IE Internet.

The US generated 37.4 per cent of all spam filtered by Irish security and e-mail monitoring firm IE Internet during the month of June, well clear of the chasing pack. China came in second with responsibility for 17 per cent of spam sent to Irish firms, followed by the UK in third place on 10.9 per cent. Mexico claimed fourth place with 9.9 per cent, while Russia rounded out the top five, accounting for 7.6 per cent of all spam.

"There's been a remarkable resurgence in the amount of spam coming from the US," Ken O'Driscoll, IE Internet's chief technical officer, told ENN. "The US used to be the dominant player in spam but when legislation was brought in many US spammers moved offshore."

O'Driscoll explained that the offshore operations of US spammers accounted in large part for the high positions achieved by China and Mexico in the spam chart. "It's not that there's a bunch of Chinese spammers; many US spammers are operating out of these countries."

IE Internet studied e-mails sent to 35,000 Irish businesses and found that 67.4 per cent of all of these were spam. Viruses accounted for just 4.1 per cent of e-mails sent to Irish businesses during the month.

"Viruses have been on the decrease; in 2002 over 20 per cent of e-mails would have contained viruses," said O'Driscoll. "You don't hear about viruses infecting businesses anymore. It's home users that are affected more."

O'Driscoll said virus writers targeted home PCs to gain control of them and then use them to send spam to businesses. "Virus writers have control over these PCs. They then sell access to this network of zombie PCs to spammers," he said.

© 2007 ENN

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