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US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

A recent study done by Sophos, a based company specializing in integrated threat management solutions, reveals that is closing in on US when it comes to relaying spam. The study done during the first quarter of 2006 shows Asia leading the pack of spam relaying continents with a whopping 42.8 per cent of all spam relayed and is way ahead of North America and Europe who account for 25.6 and 25 per cent respectively.

In the country wise category the continues to be the world’s biggest spam relaying nation but it now accounts for less than quarter of the total spam. The gap between US and second placed is narrowing at a fast pace. These statistics are in sharp contrast to the scenario two years ago when the accounted for over half of all spam sent to the world.

Dr. Jan Hruska, cofounder of Sophos says that the increase in Asia’s spam-relaying figures is due to its growing economy and widely available broadband connections (spam is used as a tool in marketing). He added that with a market of $3 billion US Dollars for the spammers, the number of professional hackers being hired by the spammers for writing high quality code is on the rise.

The introduction of CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 in the has brought down the extent of spamming activities due to the severe penalties and fines imposed on prolific spammers. Hruska claimed that the recent high profile convictions of some spammers have served as a warning to other cyber criminals and this has helped reduce the percentage of spam from the .

Graham Cluley, the senior technology consultant for Sophos, said that the Americans are now realizing the threat from malicious hackers and are now paying importance to security for their computers.

Hruska warned that “If you connect a PC running on Windows XP, without any patches or antivirus software, to the Internet, and left it alone without doing anything, it has a 94% chance to get infected in 60 minutes, and 40% chance to get infected in 10 minutes,". According to him every one in two emails is a spam.

In order to protect themselves from being attacked by hackers and phishers, Hruska has advised computer users to update their operating system with the latest patches. He also urges the use of a firewall (at least a built-in Windows firewall); and anti-virus and anti-spam software.

Related article: USC’s Data Might Have Been Hacked

» SPAMfighter News - 6/2/2006

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