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04 Jul 2005

China joins international efforts to fight spam, Sophos reports

Man at PC
Computer users around the world are receiving spam being sent from Chinese PCs.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of spam and virus analysis centers, have welcomed the news that the Beijing government has joined the international efforts to fight spam, by adopting the London Action Plan on Spam Enforcement Collaboration.

Following months of discussions, China has agreed to sign up to the plan which will mean greater co-operation between countries around the world in analysing spam campaigns, investigating their origin, and encouraging ISPs around the world to take appropriate measures to defend innocent users.

In April, Sophos reported that almost 10% of spam originated from computers based in China. Much of this spam is being sent out through compromised computers, known as "zombies", under the control of remote hackers without the knowledge of their owners.

"It's great news to hear that China will be joining international efforts to fight spam. After the USA and South Korea, China is one of the biggest producers of spam in the world, and greater global co-operation in tackling the scourge has to be welcomed," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "However, computer users need to be aware that the fight isn't over - and they're unlikely to see the amount of spam they're receiving dry up overnight. The best way to defend yourself is to run anti-spam software and pressure your ISP to offer industrial strength protection against spam and viruses."

"Even if the authorities crack down hard on those using Chinese computers to spew spam and sell spam-marketed goods, there are likely to be other countries to which the spammers will turn in order to flog their wares," continued Cluley.

Sophos recommends that businesses adopt a multi-layered defense 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.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at