United States and Chine top spam relaying countries

Sophos has published its latest report on the top twelve spam relaying countries over the third quarter of 2006.

Experts at SophosLabs scanned all spam messages received in the company’s global network of spam traps, and have revealed that the US struggles to significantly reduce its level of relayed spam, with more than a fifth (21.6%) of the world’s spam originating from the US.

Sophos experts believe that a possible reason for America’s increasing lead in relayed spam when compared to its closest rival, China, is the emergence of over 300 strains of the mass-spammed Stratio worm. The worm, also known as Stration or Warezov, uses a trick dependent on the victim being able to speak English in its attempt to convert innocent PCs into members of a spam botnet.

The top twelve spam relaying countries are as follows:

July to September 2006

 1. United States                  21.6%
 2. China (inc. Hong Kong)         13.4%
=3. France                          6.3%
=3. South Korea                     6.3%
 5. Spain                           5.8%
 6. Poland                          4.8%
 7. Brazil                          4.7%
 8. Italy                           4.3%
 9. Germany                         3.0%
10. Taiwan                          2.0%
11. Israel                          1.8%  new entry
12. Japan                           1.7%

    Others                         24.3%

Elsewhere in the chart, China has managed to decrease the proportion of spam it relays by 6.6% since last quarter. The UK has successfully dropped out of the chart altogether and is currently in 13th position, while Israel has entered for the first time, taking 11th place. Q3 has also seen spammers deploy new tricks to try and fool both users and anti-spam software.

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