October 12, 2005 1:36 PM PDT

Report: Antispam push helping curb U.S. junk mail

Related Stories

Get ready for 'Son of Can-Spam'

October 10, 2005

ISPs versus the zombies

July 19, 2005

Convicted spammer gets nine-year sentence

April 11, 2005
While the United States continues to be the world's worst source of spam, computers there are relaying far fewer junk e-mails than a year ago, according to Sophos.

In contrast, the spam volume from South Korea and China is substantially up, compared with the same period last year, the security software maker said in a report released Wednesday. The report covered Sophos's analysis of messages received in its scanning network between April and September this year.

The United States was the country of origin for around 26 percent of global spam, down from 41.5 percent a year ago. The share of spurious e-mails from South Korea and China, which held the second and third position, has gone up to nearly 20 percent and 16 percent respectively, from 12 percent and 9 percent, Sophos said.

The company attributed the decline in U.S.-sourced spam in part to the nation's crackdown against fraudulent e-mail. In particular, Sophos pointed to jail sentences for spammers, tighter legislation and better system security.

"Efforts such as ISPs sharing knowledge on how to crack down on spammers, and authorities enforcing Can-Spam legislation, have helped North America thwart the efforts of spammers on their doorsteps. Some of the most prolific spammers have been forced to either quit the business or relocate overseas as a result," Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a statement.

The threat of punitive legal action has also worked in Canada, Sophos surmised, noting that the country's its share of spam generation has dwindled to 2.5 percent, from more than 7 percent last year.

Also helping the cause was the introduction of Windows XP SP2 a year ago, which has improved security. But, "the worry now is that devious spammers will turn to other Net-based money-making schemes, such as spyware and identity theft malware to make their dirty money," Cluley said.

Another revealing aspect of the study was that more than 60 percent of spam messages are generated by zombie computers, which are PCs that have been hijacked--sometimes without their owners knowing--through the use of viruses or other malicious code. This technique allows culprits to be in a different country from the innocent computers they exploit, Sophos said.

12 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
How to stop 99% of SPAM
There is a better method to stopping spam that no one has started yet. Fine the businesses that are using spam to advertise. They know how their products are being marketed. What business doesn't keep track of their budget. If something's missing - then they can have fun with the IRS. If you make the businesses stop their support of illeagal marketing tactics, the spammers wouldn't have any income to continue their activities.
Posted by invisibunny (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How to stop 99% of SPAM
There is a better method to stopping spam that no one has started yet. Fine the businesses that are using spam to advertise. They know how their products are being marketed. What business doesn't keep track of their budget. If something's missing - then they can have fun with the IRS. If you make the businesses stop their support of illeagal marketing tactics, the spammers wouldn't have any income to continue their activities.
Posted by invisibunny (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Glad someone's seeing less spam...
I keep track of mine & graph it, there has been an increasing trend
since late August/early September.
Posted by cyborgsam--2008 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
SPAM overall on the rise
I work for one of the few remaining local ISPs and our spam intake has increased sharply over the past few months. I can't give you a break down by country as that is really hard to determine but, spam makes up 98.8% of the total incoming email for our customers. That's the percentage that the spam filter catches. I know, for a fact, that it doesn't get all of it so, the number is actually higher.

We do our best to try and minimalize the impact to our customers but, we get very little support from other sources. The quantity is so overwhelming that it threatens our mail servers on a regular basis. Every time an army of zombie computers does a dictionary attack on our server, it backs up for 6 hours while it tries to sort through all of it.

It's a nightmare.
Posted by TheReaperD (189 comments )
Link Flag
Glad someone's seeing less spam...
I keep track of mine & graph it, there has been an increasing trend
since late August/early September.
Posted by cyborgsam--2008 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
SPAM overall on the rise
I work for one of the few remaining local ISPs and our spam intake has increased sharply over the past few months. I can't give you a break down by country as that is really hard to determine but, spam makes up 98.8% of the total incoming email for our customers. That's the percentage that the spam filter catches. I know, for a fact, that it doesn't get all of it so, the number is actually higher.

We do our best to try and minimalize the impact to our customers but, we get very little support from other sources. The quantity is so overwhelming that it threatens our mail servers on a regular basis. Every time an army of zombie computers does a dictionary attack on our server, it backs up for 6 hours while it tries to sort through all of it.

It's a nightmare.
Posted by TheReaperD (189 comments )
Link Flag
How to stop 100% of SPAM
DONT OPEN OR CARE ABOUT EMAIL THAT YOU KNOW ISN'T GENUINE!!!!JESUS!!!!Thank you Joe average AOL computer user for being so incompetent and scared with computers. These are the same people that think that if they press the "wrong button", tehier computer will explode.=)
Posted by jedibratt (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How to stop 100% of SPAM
DONT OPEN OR CARE ABOUT EMAIL THAT YOU KNOW ISN'T GENUINE!!!!JESUS!!!!Thank you Joe average AOL computer user for being so incompetent and scared with computers. These are the same people that think that if they press the "wrong button", tehier computer will explode.=)
Posted by jedibratt (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spyware, trojans, worms, viruses, adware....
ARE THE REAL PROBLEM. The average Joe doesn't know this. Hello Joe!!
Posted by jedibratt (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spyware, trojans, worms, viruses, adware....
ARE THE REAL PROBLEM. The average Joe doesn't know this. Hello Joe!!
Posted by jedibratt (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Kudos to M$
Their spam filter in Outlook is cutting out about 90% of the spam.

But when I look at the spam folder - it's almost all in Spanish or Portugese. I'm guessing it's coming frm Central & South America.

BTW - an old email address I used to use from about 1998 onwards, I have retained it (unused for about 3 years) and the email has almost totally dried up - might recover the adress & start using it again :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Kudos to M$
Their spam filter in Outlook is cutting out about 90% of the spam.

But when I look at the spam folder - it's almost all in Spanish or Portugese. I'm guessing it's coming frm Central & South America.

BTW - an old email address I used to use from about 1998 onwards, I have retained it (unused for about 3 years) and the email has almost totally dried up - might recover the adress & start using it again :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.