Sophos: China #2 Spam Sender

New analysis from Internet security firm Sophos shows the United States is still the leading source of email spam, but that China isn’t far behind and, as a whole, Asia is the worst spam-relaying continent.

Sophos scanned all spam messages trapped by the company’s worldwide network and analyzed the messages’ points of origin. Some 23.1 percent of spam still comes from computers located in the United States—which, ironically, represents something of an improvement since the U.S. was responsible for more than half the world’s spam in 2003. However, 21.9 percent of spam now originates on computers located in China and, on a continent-by-continent basis, Asia now produces the most spam, with Europe is close to overtaking North America.

Sophos says that legislative penalties such as hose provided by the CAN-SPAM act and greater information-sharing amongst ISPs has led to a decline in spam originating in the United States, and forced the most prolific spammers to either shut down or move their operations overseas. "We’re seeing spammers being successfully brought to justice in the US, but it’s important to remember that they can be based anywhere in the world. In fact, the vast majority of spam is generated from zombie computers—hijacked PCs infected by malware," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "A combination of technology, legal action, user education and international cooperation is needed to truly make spam a thing of the past."

Country Spam Sent
United States 23.1%
China (including Hong Kong) 21.9%
South Korea 9.8%
France 4.3%
Poland 3.8%
Spain 3.3%
Germany 3.0%
Brazil 2.9%
Japan 2.0%
United Kingdom 1.9%
Netherlands 1.8%
Taiwan 1.6%
Others 20.6%