Spam's 'dirty dozen' countries relaying spam revealed by Sophos


Security firm Sophos has revealed the world’s worst offending countries when it comes to relaying – or passing on – spam email.

Top of the pile is the US, with 23.2% of the world’s spam passing through the computers of its netizens. Second is China/Hong Kong with 20%, followed by South Korea with 7.5%, though both these countries have managed to reduce their total spam load.

Though the UK is down in 10th place, with 1.8%, Europe as a whole is becoming a worrying spam magnet, accounting for over a quarter of the world’s spam.

And Russia, conspicuous by its absence from the list, exhibits evidence that spammers are targeting Russians from outside the country.

Given the vast and continuing increases in spam, it’s not surprising to learn that most of this stuff is being sent on by ‘zombie’ computers, or ‘botnets’ – banks of ordinary computers that have been compromised by a virus or worm and are being used to redirect spam – all the time with the owner being blissfully unaware.

It’s why Sophos, and many others, want to find ways of educating
computer users – both at home and in business – about the dangers of
owning unsecured computers.

Not only does failing to install and keep up-to-date firewalls and
virus protection have the potential to harm the individual’s private
data and software, but their computer could be infected and used as
part of a vast army either sending spam or carrying out Denial of
Service attacks on web sites.

Spam particularly on the rise is so-called "pump-and-dump" which are
messages designed to boost the share price of a particular company by
trying to trick recipients into buying stock. This probably accounts
for 15% of all spam – I expect you’ve seen the "this stock is hot" kind
of email.

And of course there’s the usual ‘enhancement’ mails, together with
gambling, dodgy software, and wealthy but dead people to whom you are
the beneficiary of their vast fortune.

Why the hell do some people fall for this pap?

Read the full report.

Andy Merrett
For latest tech stories go to