Sophos reveals "Dirty Dozen" spam producing countries, January-March 2005

April 07, 2005 Sophos Press Release

US continues to lead the pack, as spammers exploit unprotected PCs

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has today published research on the top twelve spam producing countries.

Sophos experts examined all spam messages received at the company's global network of spam traps from January 2005 - March 2005. Based on the analysis, experts found that the United States topped the "Dirty Dozen" chart once again, exporting an average of 35.70% of all spam during this timeframe.

The top spam producing countries are as follows:
PositionCountryPercentage of global spam
1United States
35.70%
2South Korea
24.98%
3China (incl Hong Kong)
9.71%
4France
3.19%
5Spain
2.74%
6Canada
2.68%
7Japan
2.10%
8Brazil
1.95%
9United Kingdom
1.57%
10Germany
1.23%
11Australia
1.22%
12Poland
1.20%
Others11.73%

"Although the USA is responsible for producing more than a third of all of the world's spam, its percentage contribution has decreased," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The percentage of spam sent from American computers has fallen 12% since the start of the year compared to other countries. ISPs enforcing policies to ensure they do not knowingly provide network services to spammers, and a rising awareness of the need to protect all computers from being hacked by spammers has undoubtedly contributed to this trend."

"Last month, Sophos reported that more than 50% of the world's spam came from zombie computers, which are PCs that have been compromised by hackers or virus writers," continued Cluley. "Businesses and computer users must protect themselves from becoming a zombie by having up-to-date anti-virus software, firewalls and Microsoft security patches."

Sophos recommends that businesses adopt a multi-layered defence in conjunction with implementing a best practice policy regarding email account usage. Users can also learn how to best minimise the influx of unwanted email by following a few simple guidelines.