A new report by Sophos has revealed the top 12 spam-producing countries, and once again, the United States was tagged with the dubious distinction of placing first.
“Many members of the public still don’t understand the vital role that they can play in fighting spam – preventing their home PC from becoming infected,” Sophos’ Graham Cluley wrote on the NakedSecurity Blog. “What many people haven’t learnt is that the spammers don’t use their own computers to send spam – instead they create botnets of compromised PCs around the world . . . which they can remotely command to spew out unwanted marketing messages, malicious links and even launch distributed denial-of-service attacks.”
According to Sophos’ latest “Dirty Dozen” of spam-relaying countries, the United States continues to be the source for 18.83 percent of all spam messages. India ranked second with 6.88 percent, Brazil placed, with 5.04 percent, and Russia came fourth, with 4.64 percent.
The U.K, ranked fifth, decreased its percentage of total spam output compared to the third quarter last year, from 5 percent to 4.54 percent.
While the same countries continue to dominate in terms of spam output, the nature of the spam being distributed is becoming more malicious, Sophos said. Ads for pharmaceuticals continue to be a concern, but more and more messages are spreading malware and are attempting to phish user names, passwords and personal information.
“Spam is certainly here to stay, however the motivations and the methods are continuing to change in order to reap the greatest rewards for the spammers,” said Cluley, who is the senior technology consultant at Sophos. “What’s becoming even more prevalent is the mailing of links to poisoned webpages ““ victims are tricked into clicking a link in an email, and then led to a site that attacks their computer with exploits or attempts to implant fake anti-virus software.”