Asia, the new breeding ground for spam, says Sophos

  • One in every two spam messages originates from Asia
  • Onus on users to help combat this menace by securing PCs and Macs, urges Sophos

ASIA is the new breeding ground for e-mail spam as it accounts for nearly half the total volume being relayed around the world, according to Sophos.
 
The IT security and data protection firm recently released its latest “Dirty Dozen” list of spam relaying countries for the second quarter of 2012, and noted that a whopping 49.75% of spam is sent from Asia, the company said in a statement.
 
Despite only having 5.3% of the world’s internet users reportedly living in India, the country topped the list by a significant margin and was accountable for 11.4% of the world’s spam seen throughout April, May and June, Sophos noted.
 
Correspondingly, the US dropped from the top spot of spam-relaying countries to second place in Q1, and has now moved down to fourth place behind India, Italy and South Korea.
 
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has managed to remain out of the top twelve spam-relaying countries for the last four consecutive quarters, having last appeared in April - June 2011.
 
Asia, the new breeding ground for spam, says Sophos“Spam emails make up an average of 45-50% of corporate email; that is, one unwanted, unsolicited message for every important communication” said Graham Cluley (pic), senior technology consultant at Sophos.
 
“We all pay the price: our email systems have to process and deliver the message, and our own time is wasted dealing with the spam email once it is in our inbox.”
 
Sophos recommends that organizations and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) implement technology and follow best practices to ensure that malicious emails are not reaching inboxes.
 
Sophos also noted that Asia increased its level of spam output, and the continent is now responsible for almost half of the world’s spam.  Europe is responsible for about a quarter, while North America produced nearly 9%.
 
“The chief driver for Asia’s dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent,” said Cluley.
 
“Malicious hackers hijack poorly-protected computers, and command them – without their owners realizing – to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links.
 
He added that everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC or Mac is properly defended against such attacks.
 
“If they take no care over their computers they’re simply adding to the world’s spam problem,” Cluley said.
 
For more advice on how to combat spam, visit: http://www.sophos.com/en-us/security-news-trends/best-practices/spam.aspx
 
The top 12 spam-relaying countries for April to June 2012 are as follows:
 

1. India 11.4%
2. Italy 7%
3. South Korea 6.7%
4. USA 6.2%
5. Vietnam 5.8%
6. Brazil 4.4%
7. Pakistan 3.7%
8. China 3.2%
9. France 3.1%
10. Russia 2.9%
11. Poland 2.7%
12. Taiwan 2.6%
  Others 40.3%

 

 
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