Feeds

India crowned global spam-spewing zombie king AGAIN

Ha ha, do keep up, China

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

India has cemented its position as the world's biggest fire hose of spam email, according to new figures.

Hacked computers in the republic working on behalf of crooks spewed more than one in ten of the globe's spam mails in the last quarter, reported web security firm Sophos.

India is home to 5.3 per cent of the world’s internet users, but it plays an oversized role in the global junk mail epidemic. Apparently, lax security leaves the country's PCs prone to viruses, which press-gang machines into remote-controlled zombie armies to do the bidding of criminals - such as flooding inboxes with dodgy advertising spam.

Asian countries disgorged 49.7 per cent of the world's junk email last quarter, compared with 8.6 per cent of spam fired off from North America, according to the stats from Sophos. The security biz also pegged China in eighth place this time around; it's believed the huge authoritarian state's Great Firewall, and the fact that citizens need a licence to run an email server in the nation, play a part in limiting .cn-sourced spam.

Greater availability of internet access in Asia is continuing to fuel the increase in spam from that continent. Only a year ago the US topped Sophos's Dirty Dozen list of spam-relaying countries, but these figures have been turned on their head: India has topped the list of shame for the past two quarters.

The actual content of spam messages have remained largely unchanged, and the identities of gangs responsible for commanding zombie botnets remain unknown.

"The spam itself, of course, doesn't have to promote Indian goods," commented Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Chances are that most of the spammers who are relaying their messages through compromised Indian computers are not based in the country at all - and just taking advantage of zombie computers that have been unwittingly recruited into a botnet." ®

Top 12 spam-relaying countries for April to June 2012, according to Sophos

  1. India: 11.4 per cent
  2. Italy: 7.0 per cent
  3. S Korea: 6.7 per cent
  4. USA: 6.2 per cent
  5. Vietnam: 5.8 per cent
  6. Brazil: 4.4 per cent
  7. Pakistan: 3.7 per cent
  8. China: 3.2 per cent
  9. France: 3.1 per cent
  10. Russia: 2.9 per cent
  11. Poland: 2.7 per cent
  12. Taiwan: 2.6 per cent

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.