India sends you the most spam

Summary:More than one in 10 of every spam e-mail sent in the world comes from India. More broadly, every other spam e-mail sent in the world comes from Asia.

India sends you the most spam

What country is responsible for the majority of the spam sent in the world? You can excuse the usual culprits that have led the pack in years before like Canada, China, Brazil, South Korea, and the U.S. There's a new kid on the block, and she's pretty big: India. In fact, if you get spam (and who doesn't?), there's a more than one in 10 chance that it was relayed from an Indian computer.

The latest data comes from Sophos, which regularly releases a Dirty Dozen spam report for every quarter. This one is for Q1 2012:

  1. India - 11.4 percent
  2. Italy - 7.0 percent
  3. South Korea - 6.7 percent
  4. U.S. - 6.2 percent
  5. Vietnam - 5.8 percent
  6. Brazil- 4.4 percent
  7. Pakistan - 3.7 percent
  8. China - 3.2 percent
  9. France - 3.1 percent
  10. Russia - 2.9 percent
  11. Poland - 2.7 percent
  12. Taiwan - 2.6 percent
  13. Other - 40.3 percent

India actually topped the last Dirty Dozen report  as well, when it overtook the U.S. as the world's top spam-relaying country in Q4 2011. At the time, India contributed 9.3 percent of all spam sent worldwide, while the U.S. was at 8.3 percent.

Now India has solidified its position as the biggest global contributor to the junk e-mail problem. It's at 11.4 percent while all the remaining countries are in the single digits.

India is contributing to the growing percentage of spam that comes from its continent. The latest breakdown is as follows: Asia (49.7 percent), Europe (26.4 percent), South America (11.2 percent), North America (8.6 percent), Africa (3.6 percent), and Other/Unclassified (0.5 percent).

Most of the spammers probably don't promote Asian goods nor do they reside in Asia. Instead, they are simply relaying their messages through compromised Asian zombie computers part of a botnet.

"The chief driver for Asia's dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent," a Sophos spokesperson said in a statement. "Malicious hackers hijack poorly-protected computers, and command them - without their owners realising - to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC or Mac is properly defended against such attacks. If they take no care over their computers they're simply adding to the world’s spam problem. The latest 'Dirty Dozen' stats suggest that as more first-time internet users get online in growing economies they are not taking appropriate measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies.

See also:

Topics: Security, Malware

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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