US Still No. 1 Spam-Relayer

US captures high-profile spammers, but general computer security remains worryingly lax

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

Experts at SophosLabs scanned all spam messages received in the company's global network of spam traps and have revealed that, yet again, the U.S. relayed more spam than any other nation, accounting for a massive 28.4 percent - meaning that almost one in three of all the world's spam emails is being sent through a compromised U.S. computer. The gap between the U.S. and its nearest rival has also increased significantly, with second placed South Korea only responsible for relaying 5.2 percent, or one in 20 spam messages.

The top 12 spam-relaying countries are as follows:

July to September 2007

  1. United States 28.4%

  2. South Korea 5.2%

  3. China (inc. Hong Kong) 4.9%

  4. Russia 4.4%

  5. Brazil 3.7%

  6. France 3.6%

  7. Germany 3.4%

  8. Turkey 3.2%

  9. Poland 2.7%

  10. United Kingdom 2.4%

  11. Romania 2.3%

  12. Mexico 1.9%

    Other 33.9%

"It seems as though a major American spammer is arrested every other week. Despite these high-profile lawbreakers being put away, the U.S. continues to relay far more spam than any other nation," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "The problem is there are thousands of spammers using many thousands of compromised zombie computers in the U.S. The only way we're going to reduce the problem is if U.S. authorities invest a lot more in educating computer users of the dangers, while ensuring ISPs step up their monitoring efforts to identify these compromised machines as early as possible."

Sophos plc

Editors' Choice
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading