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India crowned global spam-spewing zombie king AGAIN

Ha ha, do keep up, China

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

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