Feeds

India crowned global spam-spewing zombie king AGAIN

Ha ha, do keep up, China

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?