Feeds

America: Land of the free, still home of the BIGGEST spammers on the planet

USA! USA! USA!

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US prides itself on being the best at a lot of good things. And, judging by the latest data from security vendor Sophos, America is still the best at spaffing spam in the world.

Countries sending spam

Gold medal in spam goes to the US

The firm's quarterly list of countries that send spam (as opposed to hosting spamming companies) shows that the US has held on to the top spot it has held all year. In all, the US is the starting point of 14.6 per cent of the world's emails that sell dodgy drugs, genital enhancements, and get-rich-quick schemes, as well as spreading malware.

It's not something many Americans are proud of, but the US did invent electronic spam. Back in 1994 the first spamming came from lawyers Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, who deluged Usenet groups with offers of immigration services. As the internet grew in popularity, spammers went industrial before ISPs and legal eagles helped crack down on the practice.

What makes the US the top spammer these days is the large pool of unsecured - or poorly secured - computers that are infected with malware. It's notable in Sophos' stats that China (which has more internet users) puts out a third of the spam in comparison to the US and its spam rates are falling. Sure, individual PC ownership is lower in China than the US, but rising rates of PC buyers in the Middle Kingdom doesn’t seem to be translating into higher spam generation rates.

Sophos spam per capita

Small countries, big problems

In second place in the spamming league comes the tiny former-Soviet state of Belarus. While it only sends out about a third of America's spam by volume, its tiny population makes it by far the biggest per capita spam generator. By some estimates only one in every thousand emails from Belarus isn't spam.

Third and fourth place on the list belong to India and Italy respectively, with both showing big increases in spam generation in the first three quarters of the year. Kuwait and Israel are new entrants to the Sophos list this quarter, holding seventh and twelfth place respectively. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.