July 15, 2010

Europe Is Now The Biggest International Source Of Spam

A report said Thursday that Europe has overtaken Asia as the biggest source of email spam around the globe, with Britain being a major culprit.

Information technology security firm Sophos said that Europe produced over a third of the world's total junk emails in the second quarter of 2010, which is slightly above Asia.  Asia had been ahead of Europe in the first quarter.

"The UK... saw a significant rise in the proportion of spam it relayed. With a total output of 4.6 percent of the world's spam, this puts the UK in fourth place overall compared with ninth earlier this year," the report said.

It said that a steady increase in spam generation from France, Italy and Poland were also contributing factors that lead to Europe's rise.

Asian countries' ranking in the "hall of shame" generally dropped, with both Vietnam and China dropping five places to tenth and twentieth.

The U.S. still remains the world's single biggest generator of junk emails, accounting for 15.2 percent of total spam sent during the second quarter.

India came in second at 7.7 percent and Brazil took third place with 5.5 percent.

South Korea came after Britain to be the world's fifth largest source of spam with 4.2 percent, followed by France at 4.1 percent, Germany at 4 percent, Italy at 3.6 percent and Russia at 2.8 percent.

Sophos reported that spam emails accounted for 97 percent of all emails received by business email servers, which is "putting a strain on network resources and wasting a huge amount of time to lost productivity."

"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," Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley told AFP news.

"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."


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