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By 15 July 2010 | Categories: news

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Security and control firm, Sophos, has published its latest report into the top twelve spam relaying countries, covering the second quarter of 2010.  The US continues to be the number one spam polluter, piping out 15.2% of all global spam messages - an increase from 13.1% in the first quarter of 2010.

The UK, a nation that last year fell out of the spam hall of shame, also saw a significant rise in the proportion of spam it relayed.  With a total output of 4.6% of the world's spam, this puts the UK in fourth place overall compared with ninth earlier this year.

The top 12 spam relaying countries for April to June 2010 are as follows:

1.      USA             15.2%
2.      India             7.7%
3.      Brazil            5.5%
4.      UK                4.6%
5.      S Korea       4.2%
6.      France         4.1%
7.      Germany     4.0%
8.      Italy               3.5%
9.      Russia         2.8%
10.     Vietnam      2.7%
11.     Poland        2.5%
12.     Romania    2.3%

Other                    40.9%


"The UK, France, Italy and Poland have all crept up the rankings since the start of the year," says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

"Financially-motivated criminals are controlling compromised zombie computers to not just launch spam campaigns, but also to steal identity and bank account information.  It's an uphill struggle educating users about the dangers of clicking on links or attachments in spam mails, and that their computers may already be under the control of cybercriminals.  Businesses and computer users must take a more proactive approach to spam filtering and IT security in order to avoid adding to this global problem."

Europe has leapfrogged over Asia to become the most prolific continent for spamming.   Although the US continues to be the top spam-relaying country, North America remains in third place by continent, a long way behind Asia and Europe.

"Spam will continue to be a global problem for as long as it makes money for the spammers. It makes commercial sense for the criminals to continue if even a tiny proportion of recipients clicks on the links," says Myroff.

"Too many computer users are risking a malware infection that sees their computer recruited into a spam botnet.  To combat the spammers, it's not only essential for computer users to run up-to-date security software, they must also resist the urge to purchase products advertised by spam."

Sophos recommends that companies automatically update their corporate virus protection, and run a consolidated solution at their email and web gateways to defend against spam and viruses.

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