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Sophos Releases Top 12 Spam Producing Countries

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-08-24

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Sophos released today the results of its research on the top twelve spam producing countries.

Sophos released the first analysis of spam origins on February 26, 2004.

Researchers scanned all spam messages received at its global network of honeypots in the last month and at the top of the list was the United States, which is responsible for exporting 42.53% of all spam. The top twelve spam producing countries are as follows:

1. United States 42.53%

2. South Korea 15.42%

3. China (& Hong Kong) 11.62%

4. Brazil 6.17%

5. Canada 2.91%

6. Japan 2.87%

7. Germany 1.28%

8. France 1.24%

9. Spain 1.16%

10. United Kingdom 1.15%

11. Mexico 0.98%

12. Taiwan 0.91%

Others 11.76%

"When we released the first report back in February, the US had the excuse that the CAN-SPAM act had been in existence for only three months," said Chris Kraft, senior security analyst at Sophos, Inc. "Six months and millions of spam messages later, it is quite evident that that the CAN-SPAM legislation has made very little headway in damming the flood of spam. If nine months isn't long enough to make a significant difference, how long is?"

Sophos notes that the most broadband-connected country in the world, South Korea, has consolidated its position as a leading producer of spam -- almost tripling the percentage of spam originating from its shores since February. However, previous silver medal winner Canada has managed to significantly decrease their contribution to the world's overall junk email by more than half -- from 6.8% six months ago to 2.9% today.

"It's of no surprise that spammers are motivated by one thing - quick, easy money," continued Kraft. "There are plenty of spammers who have taken their money making schemes to the extreme by hacking into innocent third- party computers in an effort to do their dirty work. Many of the computers sending out spam are most likely to have had their broadband internet connections exploited by remote hackers. Zombie computers -- PCs that have been compromised by hackers or virus writers -- are sending out approximately 40% of the world's spam, and many users who fall victim are unaware."

Sophos recommends that users should avoid purchasing anything that is advertised via spam, and to deploy a consolidated solution at the email gateway, which can protect against both spam and viruses.

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