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Half Of All The World's Spam Now Out Of Asia

New Sophos 'Dirty Dozen' spam report still has the U.S. as the No. 1 spammer, but South Korea becoming a major producer as well

Sophos’ new Dirty Dozen list of spamming countries shows that more than half of all spam messages originate in Asia -- with South Korea increasingly becoming a hot spot.

The U.S., meanwhile, still holds the top spot on the list of spamming countries, sending 11.3 percent of spam from July through September 2011. The U.S. is followed by South Korea, at 9.6 percent; India, 8.8 percent; Russia 7.9 percent; Brazil, 5.7 percent; Taiwan, 3.8 percent; Vietnam, 3.5 percent; Indonesia, 3.3 percent; Ukraine, 3.1 percent; Romania, 2.8 percent; Pakistan, 2 percent; Italy, 1.9 percent; and other countries, 36.3 percent.

"Sophos's latest report reveals that, although the USA remains the single worst offender, Asian nations contributed a significantly higher proportion of global spam than for the same period in Q3 2010," says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post today. "Jumping up the table five places, South Korea is second to the USA, contributing 9.6% of all global spam emails. Several Asian nations - Indonesia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Vietnam - have joined the Dirty Dozen since Q3 2010, with India dropping to third place behind South Korea and being responsible for relaying 8.8% of the world's spam."

According to the new data from Sophos, Asia now generates 50.1 percent of the world's spam, followed by Europe (21.4 percent), North America (14.2 percent), South America (10.6 percent), Africa (3 percent), and others (0.7 percent).

It's a big jump for Asia, which spewed about 30 percent of all spam during the same period last year. That volume rose to 35.1 percent in early 2011, and has now jumped more than 15 percent.

Europe's spam production, meanwhile, has dropped by more than 10 percent over the same period in 2010, according to the report.

"Don't ever be tempted to buy anything sold via spam, as that's what makes it worthwhile for commercial spammers," Cluley said. "The best way for individuals to send a message that spam will not be tolerated is to not buy, not try, not reply. Don't even open unsolicited emails as that alone could lead to malware infection - send them straight to the trash."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, ... View Full Bio

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