Figures from UK managed security specialist iCritical reveal the total number of emails from national IP addresses rejected by the company's servers each quarter. They also confirm the BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China as significant botnet hosts. China, which briefly overtook the US as 'top of the bots' in December as a result of the McColo shutdown, continued to increase its spam output in January but then fell away significantly in February and March. This allowed the UK to claim the number two spot for the full quarter.
Andy Calvert, Technical Director at iCritical, comments: "These figures show that overall spam levels did not decrease at the start of 2009. The post-McColo dip highlights what can be achieved by effective policing but not enough is being done consistently at either the source or the infected side. Individual users with inadequate security are not the only ones to blame " certain high profile ISPs carrying this traffic are clearly washing their hands of the problem or aren't savvy enough to help control it."
Further analysis of iCritical's statistics reveals interesting global trends, as Andy Calvert explains: "South Korea had the third highest volume of rejected mail in January and the second highest in March " another significant botnet target in the Far East to sit alongside China. India, however, is lagging behind. This could be partly due to its IT infrastructure being more prevalent in business networks, where security is stronger. If so, this is likely to change soon as the number of home users " and potential botnet hosts " grows.
"The figures also show that spam is not directly linked to population. With similarly vast numbers of inhabitants, India is nowhere near the level of China which is one of the most sensitive countries in the world when it comes to the internet. Perhaps the authorities there are more concerned with monitoring incoming mail traffic than worrying about what's going out!"
iCritical will be releasing further mail statistics every quarter. The next report covering April to June 2009 will be available in early July.