During the last quarter Europe has overtaken Asia in junk mail output and is currently the continent generating the most spam traffic according to a report from antivirus vendor Sophos. As far as spam-relaying countries are concerned, the United States remains in the first position, but has extended its lead.
According to Sophos' Dirty Dozen report
, which reveals the top twelve spammiest countries every quarter, the United States has increased its junk mail output during Q2 2010. The country is now responsible for 15.2% percent of global spam traffic, which is 2.1% more than it registered during Q1 and almost double of its closest contender, India, with 7.7%.
A significant spike was also registered for spam output originating in the United Kingdom, a country which finished the first quarter in ninth place. According to Sophos, during Q2, UK was responsible for 4.6% of the world's spam, propelling it in the fourth position on the dirty dozen list.
The top twelve countries are, in order, USA (15.2%), India (7.7%), Brazil (5.5%), UK (4.6%), South Korea (4.2%), France (4.1%), Germany (4.0%), Italy (3.5%), Russia (2.8%), Vietnam (2.7%), Poland (2.5%) and Romania (2.3%). Together they account for almost 60% of the entire spam traffic registered last quarter.
When splitting the spam output down by continent of origin, Europe comes on top with a ratio of 35.0% of the total junk mail traffic. This is not too surprising, considering that seven of the dirty dozen countries are European. Asia, the Q1 leader has fallen in the second position with a ratio of 30.9% and is followed by North America (18.9%), South America (11.5%) and Africa (2.5%).
Sophos' findings are consistent with those
of Web and email security provider AppRiver for the first half of 2010. According to the antivirus vendor 97% of all emails received by business email servers are spam.
"Spam will continue to be a global problem for as long as it makes money for the spammers. It makes commercial sense for the criminals to continue if even a tiny proportion of recipients clicks on the links. Too many computer users are risking a malware infection that sees their computer recruited into a spam botnet. To combat the spammers, it's not only essential for computer users to run up-to-date security software, they must also resist the urge to purchase products advertised by spam
," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, commented.You can follow the editor on Twitter @lconstantin