Risk
7/14/2010
11:30 AM
50%
50%

US Extends Spam Lead

Twice as much spam comes from the United States as any other country in the world, finds Sophos.

Received a spam e-mail lately? No matter where you are in the world, statistically speaking, a report finds that it's most likely to have come from the United States.

Indeed, according to security firm Sophos, which released the study, in the second quarter of 2010, 15.2% of all global spam messages emanated from the United States, an increase from the 13.1% seen in the first quarter of 2010. Rounding out the top five list of global spam-generating countries were India (7.7%), Brazil (5.5%), the United Kingdom (4.6%), and South Korea (4.2%).

In addition, the study found that 97% of all e-mails received by business e-mail servers are now spam.

On a more regional level, from the first to second quarter of 2010, Europe overtook Asia for the sheer volume of spam being generated, reported Sophos. Today, 35% of all spam arrives via European PCs, followed by computers in Asia (30.9%), North America (18.9%), South America (11.5%), and Africa (2.5%).

The problem with spam, beyond the annoyance factor, is twofold. First, "spam is becoming increasingly malicious -- not just advertising unwanted goods, but spreading links to malicious websites and computer-infecting malware," according to a statement released by Sophos.

Second, the lion's share of spam emanates from compromised -- aka zombie -- PCs controlled by massive, distributed botnets such as Zeus, which can be created and managed using automated botnet toolkits, which lowers the barrier to entry for criminals without advanced coding skills.

"These cybercriminals are motivated by money --- and they don't just use your hacked PC to spread spam, but also to steal your identity and bank account information, to launch denial-of-service attacks, and to distribute malware to recruit even more innocent computers into their army," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, in a Sophos blog post.

Will spam ever die? Given the financial incentives, don't bet on it, said Cluley. "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."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7896
Published: 2015-03-03
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in HP XP P9000 Command View Advanced Edition Software Online Help, as used in HP Device Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Tiered Storage Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Replication Manager 6.x and 7.x before ...

CVE-2014-9283
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Captcha plugin before 4.0.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-9683
Published: 2015-03-03
Off-by-one error in the ecryptfs_decode_from_filename function in fs/ecryptfs/crypto.c in the eCryptfs subsystem in the Linux kernel before 3.18.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and system crash) or possibly gain privileges via a crafted filename.

CVE-2015-0890
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Google Captcha (aka reCAPTCHA) plugin before 1.13 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2168
Published: 2015-03-03
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue in customer-controlled software. Notes: none.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.