The South Korean Government has announced a raft of measures to
tackle unsolicited commercial email, or spam. The Government will
invest 10 billion Korean Won by 2007 in the fight against spam
mail, and spammers will face fines of 30 million Korean Won
(approximately GBP 13,650), a 300 percent increase from the
previous penalty. In addition, a law will be devised to prohibit
the sending of spam at night (between 9pm and 9am).
The Seoul authorities also plan to build a centre to develop
technology to combat the spread of illegal information and will
co-operate with other countries in developing anti-spam guidelines
and exchanging blacklists of known spammers.
"South Korea's plans to introduce a night-time spam curfew will
cause a few raised eyebrows," said Graham Cluley, senior technology
consultant, Sophos. "Everyone has probably felt the morning malaise
of ploughing through the mountain of spam that has accumulated
overnight, but unfortunately overseas spammers aren't going to
respect the Korean public's bedtime. The reality is that spam is a
global menace and it needs to be addressed all over the world."
Research published by Sophos yesterday revealed that South Korea
is the fourth biggest producer of spam - after the USA, Canada and
China - accounting for over 1 in 20 spam messages. However,
researchers believe that many of the messages may be being sent
without the user's knowledge from machines compromised by spammers
who are exploiting hacked computers.
Recently, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission fined 25
companies for sending unsolicited commercial messages via email and
mobile phones. The fines totalled 64 million Won (approximately GBP
"Korea's actions can only be welcomed, but legislation alone
will not solve the spam plague. There needs to be collaboration
between governments, computer users and technology if the problem
is to be solved," continued Cluley.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.