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Asian countries dominate global spam deluge

Dirty Dozen rankings acquire eastern flavour

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Asian countries collectively relayed more than half (50.1 per cent) of the world's spam last quarter.

Although the USA remains the single worst offender, lax security in Asian nations meant many of the botnet drones spewing junk mail were located in countries such as South Korea and India. Asian countries disgorged 50.1 per cent of the world's junk mail last quarter, compared to 30 per cent of all spam, according to latest junk mail stats from net security firm Sophos.

A 'Dirty Dozen' of spam-relaying countries for Q3 2011 blames South Korea for 9.6 per cent of all global spam emails, second behind only the US in the list of shame. Several other Asian nations – Indonesia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Vietnam – have joined the Dirty Dozen since Q3 2010. Meanwhile India, a longer-term fixture on the list, dropped to third place behind South Korea while still being responsible for relaying 8.8 per cent of the world's spam.

By contrast, Europe contributes over 10 per cent less spam in Q311 than it did during the same period last year, a development that meant several European nations exited the Dirty Dozen. For example, the UK dropped from fifth place in the list in Q3 2010 to 16th place overall in Q311 as its spam relaying output fell from 5 per cent of global total to just 1.6 per cent over the intervening 12 months.

What hasn't changed over recent years is that vast majority of spam emails continue to be distributed via botnets.

Sophos reckons greater availability of internet access in Asia is fuelling the increase in spam from the continent. "These latest statistics suggest that, as more people get online in Asia, they are not taking the right measures to protect their computers from infection, which results in the growth of botnets," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. ®

Top 12 spam-relaying countries for July to September 2011, according to Sophos

  1. United States - 11.3 per cent
  2. S Korea - 9.6 per cent
  3. India - 8.8 per cent
  4. Russia - 7.9 per cent
  5. Brazil - 5.7 per cent
  6. Taiwan - 3.8 per cent
  7. Vietnam - 3.5 per cent
  8. Indonesia - 3.3 per cent
  9. Ukraine - 3.1 per cent
  10. Romania - 2.8 per cent
  11. Pakistan - 2.0 per cent
  12. Italy - 1.9 per cent

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