According to security firm Sophos, Asia now accounts for 50% of online spam.
The study of spam-relaying countries revealed that even though 5.3% of the world’s internet users live in India, the country is accountable for 11.4% of the world’s online spam, with Asia accounting for 49.7% in total.
"The chief driver for Asia’s dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent," says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Malicious hackers hijack poorly-protected computers, and command them – without their owners realising – to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC or Mac is properly defended against such attacks."
Europe accounts for over a quarter of online spam followed by North America with nearly 9%.
Top spam relaying continents for April-June 2012:
1 Asia 49.7%
2 Europe 26.4%
3 South America 11.2%
4 North America 8.6%
5 Africa 3.6%
The US dropped from the number two spot in spam relaying countries to number 4 behind India, Italy and South Korea.
The UK has managed to remain out of the top ten spam-relaying countries for the past year.
Sophos advises businesses and ISPs to implement protective technology and best practice to prevent harmful emails from reaching inboxes.
"Spam emails make up an average of 45-50% of corporate email – that is one unwanted, unsolicited message for every important communication." says Cluley, "We all pay the price: our email systems have to process and deliver the message, and our own time is wasted dealing with the spam email once it is in our inbox."
The top 10 spam-relaying countries for April to June 2012:
1 India 11.4%
2 Italy 7.0%
3 South Korea 6.7%
4 USA 6.2%
5 Vietnam 5.8%
6 Brazil 4.4%
7 Pakistan 3.7%
8 China 3.2%
9 France 3.1%
10 Russia 2.9%