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Attacks/Breaches

2/11/2008
12:10 PM
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Sophos: Russia Is Spam Superpower

Russia emerges as spam superpower, as Asia and Europe overtake North America

BOSTON -- PIT security and control firm Sophos has published its latest report on the top 12 spam-relaying countries during the final quarter of 2007.

Experts at SophosLabs scanned all spam messages received in the company's global network of spam traps and have revealed a dramatic rise in the proportion of the world's spam messages being sent from compromised Russian computers. The country has stormed into second place, accounting for 8.3 percent of the world's spam, or one in 12 junk mails seen in inboxes. Russia's rise is echoed in Sophos's research into which continents make the greatest contribution to the spam problem.

Between October and December 2007, the U.S. relayed far more spam than any other country, a testament to the sheer number of computers in the country that have been taken over by remote hackers. Representing the lion's share of total spam traffic, the United States' 21 percent slice means that more than one in five of all the world's spam emails was sent through compromised American computers.

The top 12 spam-relaying countries are as follows:

October to December 2007

  1. United States 21.3%
  2. Russia 8.3%
  3. China (inc. Hong Kong) 4.2%
  4. Brazil 4.0%
  5. South Korea 3.9%
  6. Turkey 3.8%
  7. Italy 3.5%
  8. Poland 3.4%
  9. Germany 3.2%
  10. Spain 3.1%
  11. Mexico 3.1%
  12. United Kingdom 2.5%

    Other 35.7%

"Countries that continually remain among the top spam-relaying countries need to ensure that they are doing more to proper defend computer systems," said Mike Haro, senior security analyst at Sophos. "If they continue to sit back as compromised computers spread malicious emails and malware, then hackers will continue to look at these systems as easy targets in their efforts to turn them into botnets.”

Sophos plc

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