14 Oct 2010

U.S. tops list of spam-producing countries

According to a study by an internet security company, the United States produced 18.6 percent of the world’s spam in the third quarter. This topped the firm's “Dirty Dozen” list of the 12 worst spam-producing countries.

American spam output more than doubled that of the second highest-ranking nation, India, which produced 7.6 percent.

Interestingly, the list did not include China, which has garnered a reputation as a leading spam producer, said a consultant with the internet security company.

“China has earned itself a bad reputation in many countries’ eyes for being the launch pad of targeted attacks against foreign companies and government networks,” he said, “but at least in the last 12 months they can demonstrate that the proportion of spam relayed by their computers has steadily reduced."

Spam, which is spread by infected computers called “zombies,” accounts for 97 percent of all email received by business servers. Spam also is a major cause for the spread of botnets, which are used by criminals to harvest sensitive information, such as banking details.