Home » News Stories » UK Cleans Up Its Spam Act

News Stories

Job Search


Back to News »

UK Cleans Up Its Spam Act

Share this:
digg it  | kickit | Email it | | reddit | liveIt
Subscribe to IrishDev News RSS Add to Google
DateFriday, May 01, 2009


IT security and control firm Sophos has published its latest report into the top twelve spam relaying countries, covering the first quarter of 2009.



Although it has significantly reduced the amount of spam being relayed, the United States of America continues its reign as the king of spam, accounting for more than 15 percent of global spam messages. Conversely, the United Kingdom has disappeared from the ‘Dirty Dozen' for the first time in two years, polling 14th overall, and relaying 2.1 percent of the world's spam.



Brazil has seen the biggest increase in spam output, jumping from fourth to second place since last quarter. The country is now the source of more than ten percent of spam emails, compared to 4.3 percent during the same period last year.



Germany joins the UK in dropping out of the top twelve since last quarter, with Poland and Columbia returning to the table for the first time since Q2 and Q3 2008 respectively.




The top twelve spam relaying countries for January to March 2009 are as follows:

    1. United States 15.8%
    2. Brazil 10.2%
    3. China (incl HK) 7.7%
    4. India 5.1%
    5. Turkey 4.1%
    6. South Korea 3.8%
    7. Russia 3.8%
    8. Spain 3.0%
    9. Argentina 2.8%
    10. Poland 2.6%
    11. Colombia 2.6%
    12. 12. Italy 2.3%



Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos (pictured) said, "The US has gone some way towards reducing levels of spam since last quarter, when the country relayed almost a fifth of all the spam messages. What's less encouraging is that Brazil has shot up the ranks. It's no secret that the country has long been associated with cybercrime - in particular the spread of banking Trojans - however, a surge like this could also be a by-product of China's slip down the charts. In any case, it's certainly a trend to keep a close eye on."



Malware Infected Computers

The blight of inboxes, spam accounts for a staggering 97 percent of all email received by business email servers, putting both a strain on resources and wasting a huge amount of time to lost productivity. Used largely as a method for selling counterfeit or illicit goods, virtually all spam comes from malware infected computers (called bots, or zombies) that are controlled by ‘botherder' cybercriminals.



Computer users can unwittingly allow their PCs to become part of a botnet in a number of ways, including clicking on malicious links that are frequently contained within the spam messages that the botnets are used to distribute. The only way for users and administrators to reduce the risk of being compromised is to run anti-spam and anti-malware protection and ensure all software and hardware is up to date with security patches.



"Of course, the real cause of the spam problem is that not everyone will automatically delete these emails on sight," continued Cluley. "People out there must be buying products from spam, after all - the criminals behind the botnets would soon give up if they weren't making any money out of it. Computer users should know by now that buying from spam is contributing to the problem, as well as putting their personal information into the hands of criminals - everyone should pledge to never ever buy via spam."


By continent, Asia continues to dominate in spam, with more than a third of the world's unsolicited junk email relayed by the region. Although the US remains the top offender by country, North America as a whole has reduced its spam throughput since last quarter, dropping from second to third place.



The breakdown of spam relaying continents for January to March 2009 are as follows:

    1. Asia 34.8%
    2. Europe 23.6%
    3. North America 19.4%
    4. South America 19.0%
    5. Africa 2.0%


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.





People reading this story also read....


More Sophos News on


More Virus News on


More Security News on


Renaissance - Sophos Distributor in Ireland




Get Instant Updates....

Join on Facebook and Twitter


Got a Story – Share it with the Irish Software Community – Email us at

Back to News »
digg it  | kickit | Email it | | reddit | liveIt | RSS