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9/24/2009
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Spuds And Spam: Idaho No. 1 Most Spammed State

MessageLabs reveals list of U.S. states that get the most spam

Idaho, land of potatoes, now has the dubious distinction of receiving the most spam of any other state in the United States, with a 93.8 percent rate of spam in its email traffic. And that tops the global spam rate for this month of 86.4 percent, according to Symantec's MessageLabs.

Interestingly, Idaho was ranked 44th in spam volume last year, so its increase in spam rates was dramatic. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has the lowest spam volume -- 83.1 percent.

All of the top 10 most spammed states are above the global average. A close second to Idaho is Kentucky (93 percent), followed by New Jersey (92.8 percent), Alabama (91.9 percent), Illinois (91.6 percent), Indiana (91 percent), Massachusetts (90.9 percent), Pennsylvania (90.5 percent), Arizona (90.4 percent), and Maryland (90.3 percent).

"Some of the high spam levels seen across the U.S. can be attributed to the economic challenges experienced globally since the end of 2008, as well as Internet advancement including the high adoption of social networking," said Paul Wood, senior analyst for Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence. "Spammers have taken full advantage of both the economic uncertainty of some and the trustworthiness of others for their own rewards. Automated tools, resilient botnets, and targeted spam campaigns are all part of the spammers' toolkit, and they are constantly evolving these techniques to outsmart any effort to stop them. No state is immune to the affects of spam."

Less-spammed states include Montana, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Florida, according to the MessageLabs report.

MessageLabs says there are between 4 and 6 million bots worldwide responsible for the bulk of spam, and these botnets send more than 87 percent of all unsolicited email, which is around 151 billion email messages per day.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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 ... View Full Bio

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