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China Way Ahead in Spam E-mail

The number of emails sent in July was found by the Japan Industrial Association to have doubled in comparison to September 2006.

Under accusation for untimely efforts to combat such e-mail in China are unscrupulous operators. The government bodies, along with the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, have consequently come up with a 'decoy terminal system' of sorts to warn domestic Internet providers against the emails and urged the authorities in China to intensify efforts to crack down on server hosts.

Decoy terminals, comprising a system of 18 PCs, were set up by the association, a foundation under METI's jurisdiction. Its purpose is to track advertising e-mails by getting in touch and registering as members on the sites for information, competition and fortune telling, but it is suspected of collecting addresses for spam purposes.

Most of the spam e-mails are dispatched in Japanese and entice users to visit dating sites and those for sexual services. Linking to these sites alone is enough to victimize users criminally, including the alleged one-click site-related fraud that involves illegal billing of the victims.

China was ahead of Japan as the leader in the Asia-Pacific region for malicious activity in the biyearly report on Internet security threat by Symantec released in September 2007. It is unrivalled in the production of the most malevolent code, bots, zombies, and strikes from January 1 to June 30.

Of the bot-infected machines in the region, China accounts for 78%, followed by Taiwan with a mere 7% of bots. Widespread counterfeit software in China is seen as the cause for its extremely high levels of malevolent activity.

The July 2007 Symantec report cited a sharp rise in spam messages with URLs using the top-level domain (TLD) for China 'cn'. In August, spam messages containing the 'cn' TLD grew in volume seven times. The primary use for such URLs is the promotion of casino and pharmaceutical products.

In the US edition of UK's Financial Times dated September 2007, Chinese hackers were accused of breaking into a Pentagon computer network in June 2007. The result was a system shutdown that affected the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Related article: China’s Best Initiatives To Deal With Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 10/22/2007

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