Sophos has released its latest quarterly dirty dozen report, ranking India as the most spam-relaying region in the world for the period July to September 2012.
The US based security software developer also noted that the spam was not necessarily originating from India’s computers, but from machines that were ‘ill-protected’.
Spam generally relates to unsolicited electronic messages in the form of emails, instant messages, forum posts, SMS, links on social networking, dubious videos and comments on various portals from fake profiles.
16.1% of the all the spam was said to have originated from India. Italy accounted for 9.4% of the world’s spam and was ranked the second highest spam-relaying country. US, once the world’s largest spam spewing country according to Sophos, was ranked 3rd and accounted for 6.5% of all spam.
Saudi Arabia (5.1%), Brazil (4%) and Turkey (3.8%) were ranked 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Other countries to feature in SophosLabs’ latest dirty dozen list included France (3.7%), South Korea (3.6%), Vietnam (3.4%), China (3.1%), Germany (2.7%) and United Kingdom (2.1%).
he top 12 spam-relaying countries for July to September 2012:
|4. Saudi Arabia||5.1%|
|8. South Korea||3.6%|
|12. United Kingdom||2.1%|
Asia emerged to be the highest spam-relaying continent, accounting for 48% of all spam.
Top spam relaying continents for July-September 2012:
|3. South America||10.2%|
|4. North America||9.5%|
“The latest Dirty Dozen report suggests that a not insignificant number of PCs in India are harboring malware infections that turn PCs into spam-spitting zombie slaves, controlled by the cybercriminals who make money by punting junk emails to promote questionable goods, or simply use malicious spam to infect more computers” mentioned the report as it was stressed that Indian users could themselves be likely targets of spam and other online threats.
Not making purchases from unsolicited emails, deleting emails from unknown senders, not clicking on links in spam messages and avoiding giving out personal email addresses on websites and newsgroups are some simple recommendations to combat spam, suggests Sophos.
With 10.2% of the billion plus Indian population going online, India accounts for 5.3% of all the world’s internet users only behind China (22.5%) and US (10.8%). Despite making it to the top of SophosLabs’ list, Indian computers are by no means the highest generators of all malware on the internet. McAfee’s Quarterly Threats Report for Q2 2012 noted that spam in India had decreased significantly from peaking levels in September 2011.
“The United States again hosts the most new malicious web content of any country in the world. This dynamic appears in several other sections of this report. The United States is often the biggest originator and victim of a variety of threats” mentioned McAfee’s report.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia were the top 5 locations of servers hosting malicious content.
Regardless of the report looked at, spam and other forms of malicious online content are issues that authorities around the world are looking to address. In a progressive move, the Indian government has set up a Joint Working Group as a public-private partnership to tackle cyber security.