IT security and control firm Sophos has published its report on the latest trends in spam, and revealed the top twelve spam-relaying countries for the second quarter of 2008.
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The investigation reveals a disturbing rise in the level of email spam travelling across the internet between April-June 2008, and how some spammers are now using Facebook and mobile phones to spread their messages.
By June 2008, research reveals that the level of spam had risen to 96.5 per cent of all business email. Having risen from a figure of 92.3 per cent in the first three months of the year, corporations are now facing the fact that only one in 28 emails is legitimate.
“If your company is on the internet, it’s going to be hard for it to do business unless it has an effective anti-spam defence in place. Otherwise the amount of junk mail will be swamping legitimate correspondence from your customers and suppliers,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “It should be remembered also that some spam is not just a nuisance, but malicious in its intent – trying to get you to click on an attached Trojan horse or lead you to a dangerous website.
Organisations need a consolidated anti-spam and anti-malware solution at their gateway, updated around the clock to neutralise the latest internet attacks.”
Top 12 Spam Countries From April to June 2008
1. United States 14.9%
2. Russia 7.5%
3. Turkey 6.8%
4. China (incl HK) 5.6%
5. Brazil 4.5%
6= Poland 3.6%
6= Italy 3.6%
8. South Korea 3.5%
9= United Kingdom 3.2%
9= Spain 3.2%
11. Germany 3.0%
12. Argentina 2.9%
Rest of World 37.7%
Australia continues to remains firmly out of the top twelve ranking only 32nd (0.5 per cent), with New Zealand coming further below that in 70th place (0.1 per cent).
“Between April and June 2008, the computer users of US and Russia retained their shameful first and second places as the top relayers of spam,” continued Cluley. “Much more needs to be done to raise awareness about computer security. These computers are under the remote control of hackers which means they can be used not only for sending a tidalwave of spam, but also potentially steal banking details and credit card information for the purposes of identity theft.”
Also retaining a place on the leader’s podium of shame was Turkey, with a marked increase in spam since the same period last year – rising from ninth place and 2.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2007, to third place and 6.8 per cent this year.
A new addition to the chart this quarter is Argentina, which has knocked France out of the chart to take 12th place, and which is now responsible for relaying 2.9 per cent of the world’s spam email.
Sophos says that spammers are increasingly using networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to send their unwanted links to online stores and bogus lottery and financial scams.
However Sophos says the level of Facebook, Bebo and LinkedIn spam is still dwarfed by email spam, but there is a growing trend for spammers to use other techniques to spread their messages.