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Spam United States Your Rights Online

U.S. is World Leader in Spam 398

Posted by michael
from the everyone's-good-at-something dept.
adept256 writes "Sophos outs 'dirty dozen' spam producing countries. And the USA is in the lead by a country mile. 'The United States is far and away the worst offender, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the world's spam. Even though European countries are responsible for less spam, they are still generating millions of junk emails a day,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos."
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U.S. is World Leader in Spam

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:40AM (#8407579)
    ...and its spamming leader.
  • Nigeria? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slipgun (316092) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:41AM (#8407591)
    Surely Nigeria should be on that list, with all its bank account spams?
    • Re:Nigeria? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dr Tall (685787) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:42AM (#8407608) Journal
      What are you talking about? I should be getting my million dollars from Nigeria in the mail next week!
      • Re:Nigeria? (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tablizer (95088)
        I should be getting my million dollars from Nigeria in the mail next week!

        And just in time to pay for your penis enlargers.
    • Re:Nigeria? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cfradenburg (592693) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8407662)
      This isn't who is writing the email is. It's where the computer that sends it out is. The article mentions that Russia should be higher on the list but a lot of SPAM is sent through compromised computers in America.
    • by Moryath (553296) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:50AM (#8407707)
      For example, a Nigerian email sent from a hotmail/yahoo account (they almost all are) would seemingly, by this standard, come from the US.

      And then there's the thing they themselves point out; their methods of determining origin only go so far, hijacked machines / email routers configured to "wash" the headers of relayed stuff also go a long way to making the numbers invalid.

      I still say the ultimate revenge is to paper-spam the big spammers. Sign them up for hundreds of thousands of magazines and all the rest.

      The coup de grace would be then to package and mail a spammer the contents of my cats' litterbox the day after feeding them beef 'n' bean leftovers.
      • by dipipanone (570849) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:10PM (#8408532)
        For example, a Nigerian email sent from a hotmail/yahoo account (they almost all are) would seemingly, by this standard, come from the US.

        And how do you suppose is this *not* spam of US origin?

        While the author of the email might not be American, the domain and the sysadmin certainly are.

        If someone is using Hotmail or Yahoo to whap out zillions of spams, I see that of evidence of an incompetent systems administration in exactly the same way that I'd see someone failing to secure their mail relays in China, and as such, I'd expect that domain to be held accountable for it.
  • by Hayzeus (596826) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:41AM (#8407593) Homepage
    ...maybe Sophos could also get around to changing their default "notify recipient" setting on their email virus scanner.

    That way, Sophos themselves might produce a little less spam...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Given that the article ends with a link to Sophos' PureMessage product, you could be forgiven for smelling spam all over this thread!

      Graham Cluely is an excellent shaman of the press and always seems to get Sophos' name into the hardcopy press - in the UK at least. He did the same for Dr Solomon before McAfee swallowed them up...
  • Its no supprise. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psycht (233176) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:41AM (#8407596) Homepage Journal
    So many broadband & other high-speed connections left wide open that can relay data.

    • by hendridm (302246) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:46AM (#8408300) Homepage
      Or perhaps it's all the aspiring entrepreneurs who are trying to make a quick buck with no regard for ethics or other people.

      I was born and raised in the U.S., but some of the scams I see just sicken me and the lengths people will go to to make a quick buck. Some people will even take advantage of their friends and family! Who needs enemies when your own brother or sister is trying to guilt you into their latest multi-level marketing endeavor.
    • I think it is time that ISPs block, by default, all outbound port 25 traffic. Customers can either:

      • Use the ISPs mail server (this accomodates 90% right away)
      • Use a VPN or SMTP+AUTH(+SSL) on an alternate port to connect to their SMTP server of choice (this accomodates another 9%)
      • For the remaining few that just have to run their own SMTP server, let them have a static IP and open up the ports
      Of course, some consumer ISPs won't be willing to deal with the headaches of option #3, or perhaps might charge a bit more for it, which is entirely fair. Businesses need to block all egress port 25 period, there is rarely a legitamate need for an employee to run their own SMTP server (unless they work in the IT department, but then they can probably open the port up themselves).
    • So many broadband & other high-speed connections left wide open that can relay data.


      According to the article, 30% of the spam comes from trojaned boxes sending through their owners ISPs.

      -- this is not a .sig

  • by lavalyn (649886) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:42AM (#8407610) Homepage Journal
    Spamming computers may appear to be foreign, but in the end, it's nearly always an American source. Or from the Netherlands for some reason in those stupid 419s.

    If you're not blacklisting from Spamhaus's SBL+XBL of spam outfits & open relays, and dialup pools, those ones are natural things to start blocking on connect.
    • by Flyboy Connor (741764) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:04AM (#8407871)
      Not so many anymore from the Netherlands since the police came down hard on a group of about fifty 419 spammers in Amsterdam.
      • the police came down hard on a group of about fifty 419 spammers in Amsterdam.

        That was hopeful news, but I haven't seen a big drop in 419 scam mails. I am still getting one or two each day...

        I started notifying the providers that their reply email accounts are with. The sooner those are shutdown, the less opportunity for their victims to get through a reaction.

        If anyone has another suggestion to make life difficult for them I'd like to hear it!

    • by mpickut (721322) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:10AM (#8407929)
      Yeah, were number 1, were number 1, were number 1! Take that Ossama. Lets see you Al Queada guys match our spam output! And the French can't even come close. Remembers when spam is outlawed only outlaws will spam.
    • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:55AM (#8408401) Homepage
      The 419 scams were cracked down on in the Netherlands recently, sending the scammers mostly to Madrid and Barcelona. Its a whole community, the majority are no longer Nigerians, but a mix of eastern europeans and west africans. The africans work the front end of the scams, pulling in leads. The eastern europeans work the back end, setting up banking accounts, credit card processing scams, laundering the money and the like.

      There are a bunch of network operators tracking the technical guys, who buy up space in Colo's to house their scam sites and ADSL connections for the apartments where the scammers operate from. Mostly they use hijacked machines spread all around the internet for their relay points and temporary (30-90 minutes) websites, but those tend to be controlled from a few central servers. These are scary people to deal with, the Albanians have a nasty reputation of just killing anyone who might cross them. We were warned repeatedly by the police to not confront them, but take notes and let the police deal with it. There are dozens of unsolved murders blamed on the Albanians, including some from the 419 scam gangs.

      In the Benelux area, we're glad the police finally did their job, even though the investigation took more than a year. Now its the poor Spanish police's turn, and the scammers know they don't have an effective high-tech group. So expect the 419 scams to continue to grow.

      Still, Clueleyless is right about most spam coming from US sources, despite their using hijacked machines all around the world. I haven't seen a spam recently that didn't have a US oriented payment method, US phone number, US mailing address. Its American spammers targeting American victims, and American law enforcement is afraid to do anything about it. I can't remember the last time, if ever, I saw a French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Dutch language spam. Or one in Euros.

      the AC
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:43AM (#8407617) Homepage Journal

    While you Americans are spamming the world, we Canucks are gulping down herbal viagra, slathering growth cream on our willies and Making Money Fast.. Laugh at us, will you?!
  • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:44AM (#8407630)
    Reading the article, a more interesting point is that at least 30% - which probably accounts for a large slice of the US end European contribution - is from compromised machines. They believe most of those are directed from Russia.

    Aside from the absence of Russia, the only thing I find surprising about the list is the high position of Canada - second, 6.8%. Given Canad's relatively small population, that must make them the leader in spam-per-capita - an unpleasant distinction.
    • by Jonboy X (319895) <jonathan@oexner.alum@wpi@edu> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:55AM (#8407763) Journal
      Aside from the absence of Russia, the only thing I find surprising about the list is the high position of Canada - second, 6.8%. Given Canad's relatively small population, that must make them the leader in spam-per-capita - an unpleasant distinction.

      /me can't stop humming of that "Blame Canada" song from the South Park movie, and anticipating the inevitable "Spam Wars".

      Actually, that'd be a damn good title for a movie.

      Hey, it's Friday, cut me some slack. ;)

    • canada's population (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Reinout (4282) * <reinout@NosPaM.vanrees.org> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:55AM (#8407768) Homepage
      Canada's population [statcan.ca] is 31.6 million (2003).

      I looked at it as I wondered whether the Netherlands (16 million) would win in the spam/capita contest. Nah, canada wins. 3x the spam, 2x the population.

      Reinout
    • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:57AM (#8407782) Homepage Journal
      high position of Canada
      Well, taking my twenty-odd thousand spams as a sample, a lot of Canadian spams come from compromised machines at shawcable / shaw.caclient*.comcast.net and attbi.com, the abuse departments are too lazy^H^H^H^Hoverwhelmed to do anything about them (even easy solutions, such blocking port 25 and insisting mail is relayed through their own SMTP servers, which would kill this spam stone dead at a stroke).
      • by RetroGeek (206522) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:57AM (#8408417) Homepage
        the abuse departments are too lazy^H^H^H^Hoverwhelmed to do anything about them

        I sent them a log of IPs pinging my firewall, trying to connect using NetBUI, trying to pop-up net msgs, etc. I stated somewhere in the msg that my firewall was constantly writing ot the log from all the hits. A LOT of the IPs were from within the Shaw set of IP addresses.

        The response?

        "this is a common problem, turn off the logging in your firewall".

        Turn off my logging? How does that stop the hits?
    • by rm007 (616365) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:00AM (#8407815) Journal
      the only thing I find surprising about the list is the high position of Canada - second, 6.8%. Given Canad's relatively small population, that must make them the leader in spam-per-capita - an unpleasant distinction

      Not so surprising, the figure is not really out of whack. While the population is a little more than one tenth - 32 million vs 292 million - higher internet usage levels, especially broadband penetration probably accounts for some of why the Canadian figure is not closer to the 5.7 - 5.9% that you might expect. As other posters have noted, normalizing the data would have helped make more sense of the of the numbers that they present. At any rate, it is safe to assume that too many Canadians and Americans do not secure their computers properly if compromised machines account for so much of the spam.
  • by CdBee (742846) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:45AM (#8407633)
    Most European countries spam can be dealt with by blocking all the Top-Level Domains except the ones you deal with (Turkey, Germany and Italy in my case)

    However so many European companies use the .com TLD as to make blocking it impossible due to the amount of essential email that would be stopped.

    I wish that the USA had a TLD that was only used there - it would make things so much easier...
    • You mean like .us ? That's the top level domain for the United States. There's a list here [edu-cyberpg.com]
    • by Troed (102527) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:00AM (#8407824) Homepage Journal
      .us ... you might want to think twice about why US companies aren't using it - and about whether companies all over the world are evil when they (also) want to use .com

  • well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:45AM (#8407641)
    at least we're the leader in something these days; seems we suck at everything else anymore...
  • by nebaz (453974) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:45AM (#8407642)
    I wonder if the recently passes Federal Anti-Spam legislation has had any effect on these numbers. Obviously not a big enough one, since according to these figures, so much spam still comes from the U.S. If these numbers can be tabulated, can they not also report the offenders to the police?

    I also wonder if there is any way to bring the issue of unprotected computers to the public. Perhaps negligence penalties of some sort? I don't want to punish the wrong people, but it would be a lot harder to hack into all of these systems if they were administered properly.
  • by YAN3D (552691) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8407652)
    Could be that most spam is coming from US servers is because the US owns most of the IP addresses.
  • by robslimo (587196) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8407653) Homepage Journal
    I guess I haven't bothered to track back much of my incoming spam lately. A couple of years ago, I tried to find the origin for each spam I received and, at the time, they mostly came from China, Korea, and S. American countries from ill configured computers running as open relays.

    I guess, with the 'spam mafia' installing these zombies on Grandma's computer, the countries with the largest population of lusers online will be the larger sources of spam.

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8407656)
    Yes, so the US generates 60% of the world's spam. However, what fraction of the world's total email traffic does the US generate? I bet it's near 60%.

    Without having some idea of what fraction of a country's email traffic is spam, these numbers just tell you which countries have a bigger internet presence, and absolutely nothing more.

    • B.S.

      it isn't a case of "one spam for every x legitimate emails"

      the number of spam emails and legitimate emails are completely unrelated.
      • Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:11AM (#8407946)
        B.S. it isn't a case of "one spam for every x legitimate emails" the number of spam emails and legitimate emails are completely unrelated.

        Read the response by the second guy to respond to me. Both legitimate and illegitimate email are going to track with the number of total servers (scaled by how many are unprotected) and number of internet-connected citizens (scaled by how many are internet-connected) among other variables he mentioned.

        I mean, actually think about what you're saying. You would congratulate Antarctica for generating 0 spam. If you want to look at this without considering "ham" emails, look at the spam difference - (spam sent = spam received). I would argue that even this difference should be fractioned by how many total emails are sent received which really is a decent measure of internet presence, but even without it, you at least separate net spam "donors" from "recipients"

        Honestly, if you don't normalize variables in comparing large sample sets with small, you absolutely cannot compare raw numbers. I could recommend statistical reference texts if you like.

    • by g0qi (577105) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:53AM (#8407747) Homepage
      For too long, US Sys & Law Administrators have taken cover saying that the source of spam is almost always foreign and there's nothing they can do about it. This article is the wake up call. It doesn't matter what email traffic the US generates, but it just proves that much of the spam is from within.
      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:03AM (#8407859)
        For too long, US Sys & Law Administrators have taken cover saying that the source of spam is almost always foreign and there's nothing they can do about it. This article is the wake up call. It doesn't matter what email traffic the US generates, but it just proves that much of the spam is from within.

        That's an interesting take, and if true it's the only take-home lesson - that over half of US spam is generated from within.

        However, to look at this from yet another angle, who's "responsible" for spam - the sender or the asshat who left his server open? And which are they tracking? (I'm presuming servers).

        I'd like to see a split of legal and illegal spam, ie cases where a server was or wasn't hijacked. I'd also like to see spam as a total fraction of a nation's mail - sent and/or received.

  • by alkali (28338) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8407661)
    *No one* spells English as badly as we Americans do.
  • by JohnGrahamCumming (684871) * <slashdot AT jgc DOT org> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:48AM (#8407677) Homepage Journal
    ...for average US penis size.

    Luckily, I'm British and we're only number 9 on the list :-)

    John.
  • Poor research... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Genjurosan (601032) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:49AM (#8407688)
    The article indicates that the 'researchers' spent two days collecting information.

    Only two days of research is a lame attempt at a research project.

    For all we know, those responsible could alternate source every other week, thus invalidating this 'insightful' conclusion.

    Also, the article fails to mention how they are so positive of the origin. Who knows how many open relays the spammers use.

    I'd believe an article that indicates that the US has more open relays than any other country, as I would venture a guess that it's relative to total number of computers wired to the net.

    my 2c
    • by ClayJar (126217) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:14AM (#8407961) Homepage
      The spam issue is such a large scale issue that the rules governing statistics should hold quite nicely (when you've got a sample size in the millions...).

      The probability of a statistically significant number of spammers just happening to have said, "Let's use all our *US* zombies!" this particular day and then deciding the day after the study, "You know what, let's all go back to our Salmnonian zombies!" is so preposterous as to be humorous. It would be like having a majority of US voters wake up and decide for two days to vote for the Green Party candidate, then all of them switch back right after the primary. (If it were a small sample size, this could happen, but for a large sample size, it is *far* less likely.)
      • Yet isn't this possible, considering that there have been many /. articles stating that the majority of spam originates from a VERY low number of sources? If one of these major sources of spam is always moving the source, then wouldn't a study over a greater period of time be a bit more effective?

        I just have a problem with spouting information when the sample was only over a period of two days. It reminds me of what some of the people that I work with call facts, when in fact they miss the big picture by
    • Re:Poor research... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by puhuri (701880)

      Of course, because there is large number of computers (and poor anti-spam laws), the US will have large number of poorly maintained computers.

      I just made some research about spams I have received this month, and according to it, the top ISP list looks like following:

      • AT&T WorldNet Services
      • SBC Internet Services - Southwest
      • Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
      • CHINANET-BACKBONE
      • Cable & Wireless USA
      • Korea Internet Exchange
      • AOL Transit Data Network

      (Based on AS numbers, names from whois db).

  • by pvt_medic (715692) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:49AM (#8407692)
    Well the article also points out that much of the spam may orriginate in Russia from the hackers there. Who then subsequently take advantage of zombie machines in countries like the USA.

    Well just dont let GWB learn of this, just what we need him to do, start a new cold war over spam. It be his newest attempt to revitalize the economy.
  • Duh.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by UncleBiggims (526644) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:50AM (#8407713)
    Of course the US is the leading producer of SPAM. It was invented here. And according to the SPAM Museum [hormel.com], Hormel produces 435 cans of spam PER MINUTE in Austin, Minnesota.

    Are you Corn Fed? [ebay.com]
  • by physicsboy500 (645835) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:51AM (#8407724)

    Wow... when I see my next ad for "enlargment pills" I'll smile with delight that the ad I'm looking at was made in America...

    Did I mention that by smile I mean Be menacingly overcome... and by delight I actually mean rage... sweet glorious rage.

    Another reason for my heart to swell with pride for my country

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Universal Nerd (579391) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:53AM (#8407740)
    Since so many USian companies block all email from the brazilian IPs should I now block all email from USian IPs?

    This isn't a troll (despite sounding like one).

    I'm very upset that my mail server, a very well maintained with a plethora of spam and virus filters, is blocked by asshat american sysadmins "just because we're spammers".
    • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vellmont (569020)
      The important statistic is:
      percentage of spam/number of IP address in a country.

      My guess is that number is fairly high for Brazil. As for the "blocked by asshat american sysadmins" most people are using spamassassin and other score based spam tools these days, not simple IP blocking. I don't get much legit email from Brazil (I don't think I ever have), so if I do it's more than likely spam. Giving it a spam score to reflect that seems perfectly acceptable. As far as those that do simple IP blocking, it'
    • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rob Riggs (6418)
      I have my own home network, and I do block email from a number of regions based on IP blocks, including Brazil. I never do this lightly. I only do it after sending spam complaints and having those complaints ignored. None of the ISPs in Brazil (along with China and South Korea) to whom I sent spam complaints ever responded to emails. Brazilian ISPs are very permissive about spam, and you are paying the price. I am sorry.

      I will give you a counter-example. I do not block IP blocks from Argentina becaus

  • by DaRat (678130) * on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:54AM (#8407757)
    So, when are we going to start seeing the complaints about how spam company owners are outsourcing to lower cost foreign providers and taking jobs away from good, hard working US spammers?
  • by wiggys (621350) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:56AM (#8407771)
    Obviously the "war on spam" needs to be fought on legally as well as technologically (and thanks to the fucked-up CAN-SPAM act some spammers are being given the green-light to annoy the hell out of us legally).

    Assuming we ever have laws in place which state that genuine opt-in lists are the only valid way to advertise products then we still cannot sue the spammers who send junk to harvested addresses because of the problems involved with tracing them.

    Tracing spammers is difficult/sometimes impossible because any computer on the internet can runs its own SMTP server to send mail to anywhere on the net. 10 years ago when the net was more innocent and less commercially corrup, this was fine, but nowadays this is just too powerful.

    The problem is, if some clueless person (which probably accounts for 80% of net users) has their machine compromised by a virus or trojan than their computers are used to send out the spam, and as there are no log files the spammers are virutally impossible to trace.

    Now imagine if the only way to send spam was via an approved mail server. For most of us this will be our ISPs, for the rest we will simply subscribe to one of the many official trusted ones.

    Now the problem of reporting spam is a lot easier - complaints will be dealt with by the trusted mail servers who keep detailed logs of which customers have logged in to send mail, what IP address they used and at what time.

    It doesn't matter if the customer deliberately sent out the spam or if they had been compromised by a trojan - the trusted mail servers can deny their customers the right to send more email until they have had an assurance from their customers that the problem has been fixed.

    I'm not saying this is going to end spam altogether, but it should go a long way to curbing it.

    What about all the spam which originates from, say, Nigeria or Amsterdam? Simple - unless the trusted mail server takes active steps to eradicating the spam they will no longer be trusted.
    • This is a very interesting idea... Still, how do you propose to deal with the privacy issues? Having a limited number of trusted servers makes it a lot easier for communications to be monitored.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:56AM (#8407774) Journal
    The spamhaus [spamhaus.org] website has been listing the USA for a loooong time now as the #1 spam source. It's got the names of the top spammers there too...

    Simon
  • by websensei (84861) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:57AM (#8407786) Journal
    stats are so easy to manipulate or misinterpret.

    let's assume the article is correct and 60% of the world's spam is US-based. in and of itself this is meaningless. if > 60% of the net's total content originated in the US, that would make the US better than average for its spam production.

  • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:57AM (#8407793) Homepage Journal
    Florida! Thanks to its weak [theregister.co.uk] spam laws.
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:00AM (#8407825) Journal
    Having read the articles regarding the percentage rates of conversion (ie: replies to spam that turn in to orders) it obviously makes regrettable sense that sending out a gazillion junk messages will bring a financial return, yet I can't help wondering WHY the spammers think sending around 50 variants of the same message to the same inbox are likely to enhance their sales prospects? Unless of course there's 50 different spamming companies all trying to sell the same product using the same junk mail list? In my case, spambayes crushes what mailwasher hasn't caught anyway!

    Di'e s'p'a'mm--'ers --d-1e.

    infinite cabbage droll bearing science foot kingdom allow new rock garden trying gracefully space engine.
  • by hrath (5792) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:01AM (#8407836)
    One of the most effective means of dealing with Spam & when being required to hand out an email address is Spamgourmet (http://www.spamgourmet.com). You create an account and can then use unique email addresses of the form ..@spamgourmet.com . The cool thing about this is that for each email received on this account the counter is decreased and once it reaches zero all further emails will be discarded. This is great to hand out if you're ordering something from an online store and only want to receive 1-3 emails for order confirmation/shipment but not get any future spams.

    The service is free and offers a couple of other neat features. I've been using it for about a year and it's been very reliable.

    Highly recommended.

    Heiko
  • This has not been my experience, maybe because my ISP more effectively blocks spam freom the U.S., but far and away the most persistent spammers I've seen for at least the last six months have been for Chinese phramacies. (Korea used to be far and away the worst, but now they're way back in second.) American ISPs (at least all the decent ones) kick spammers and spamvertised sites off their system, but the ones in China keep going and going and going.

    If anyone knows a contact at chinanet.net where you can actually reach an administrator (or, better yet, one that speaks English), that would be a very useful thing to have...
  • by petard (117521) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:08AM (#8407909) Homepage
    This is a good statistic, as far as it goes. What I'd really like to see summarized is the breakdown of non-spam email on a global basis as well as a S:N ratio for each country.

    For example, on a typical mail day lately, I seem to be getting around 100 messages in one of my mailboxes, not counting Windows worms and related crap. Here's my breakdown, based only on .tld, counting non country code TLDs as US-ian: About 60 are legitimate, business-related emails, and 40 are spam. Of the spam, 20 seem to come from the US or Canada, 8 from Europe, 2 from South America, and 10 from Asia. I also have about 40 valid messages from the US or Canada, 15 valid messages from Europe, and 5 from South America. So my S:N on messages from North America and Europe remains high, it's lower from South America, and 0 from Asia.

    I'd be curious to see these numbers for a more global sampling of email. It seems unlikely that anyone would be in a position to provide them, though.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by e.m.rainey (91553) <erikNO@SPAMrainey.name> on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:11AM (#8407945) Homepage
    The United States is far and away the worst offender, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the world's spam.

    Wait, so all of us are responsible for the actions of these spammers? The "United States" itself doesn't spam, spammers do. Perhaps it should have been:

    60 percent of the world's spam comes from spammers in the Unitied States.

    I believe the guilt would lay correctly with the spammers in this phrasing.
  • by FSK (123170) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:12AM (#8407949) Homepage
    we're number 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:14AM (#8407964)
    ...but wait. Before ya know it, sending spam will be offshored to India too.
  • by jrifkin (100192) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:17AM (#8407995)

    If you normalize by population Sophos's reported national spam percentages things look pretty different. The scores are no longer so lopsided, and the winner is ... Canada?

    COUNTRY.....PERC...........POP....PERC./POP.
    Canada.......6.80......32207113...2.1113e-07
    US..........56.74.....290342554...1.9542e-07
    Netherlands..2.13......16150511...1.3188e-07
    South_Korea..5.77......48289037...1.1949e-07
    Australia....1.21......19731984...6.1322e-08
    Spain........1.05......40217413...2.6108e-08
    France.......1.50......60180529...2.4925e-08
    Germany......1.83......82398326...2.2209e-08
    UK...........1.31......60094648...2.1799e-08
    Mexico.......1.19.....104907991...1.1343e-08
    Brazil.......2.00.....182032604...1.0987e-08
    China........6.24....1286975468...4.8486e-09
    • An alternate title for the Sophos story might have been:
      One-Third of all Spam due to Windows Security Failures

      Just a guess, but Canada's broadband penetration rate (2nd worldwide) and the usual number of Windows users found anywhere translates to their high ranking, in my humble opinion, due to trojan-related control of these unprotected boxen.

      From the article:
      " ... Our intelligence suggests that a large amount of spam originates in Russia, even though it appears at only number 28 in the chart. Hackers ap
  • by novakane007 (154885) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:17AM (#8407998) Homepage Journal
    What?! The home of capitalism is also the home of spam?! How could this be? /sarcasm
  • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:30AM (#8408131)
    The third column is the one of interest (the second is population, in millions, the third is a sort of spam per person score, where lower a lower score is worse). Long story short, Canada is worse per person than the USA, and netherlands and sourth korea have nothing to be proud of, either, as their governments are doing statistically about an equivalently poor job of keeping the problem in check.

    That said, hopefully this study (not my little humor below, the sophos study) begin to, ever so slightly, shut up those people who claim that spam laws are useless because they will just drive spammers from one locale to the next. while this is true at the margins, the fact is that spam, like all business, is foremost local.

    1. United States 56.74% 280 493
    2. Canada 6.80% 30 441
    3. China (& Hong Kong) 6.24% 12400 198718
    4. South Korea 5.77% 48 832
    5. Netherlands 2.13% 16 751
    6. Brazil 2.00% 166 8300
    7. Germany 1.83% 82 4481
    8. France 1.50% 60 4000
    9. United Kingdom 1.31% 59 4504
    10. Australia 1.21% 19 1570
    11. Mexico 1.19% 95 7983
    12. Spain 1.05% 41 3905
    • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:09PM (#8408522)
      I updated and fixed the numbers a bit and added another column for number of internet users and recomputed the scores.

      While I don't want to claim that this sort of back of the envelope estimate is truly explanatory, it does suggest, for example, that Germany and the UK have been quite effective while other places have not. Again, the last column is a score, where lower is better.

      1. United States 56.74% 294 518 186 328
      2. Canada 6.80% 32 471 17 250
      3. China (& Hong Kong) 6.24% 1327 21266 80 1,282
      4. South Korea 5.77% 48 832 26 451
      5. Netherlands 2.13% 16 751 11 516
      6. Brazil 2.00% 166 8300 14 700
      7. Germany 1.83% 82 4481 45 2,459
      8. France 1.50% 60 4000 22 1,467
      9. United Kingdom 1.31% 59 4504 35 2,672
      10. Australia 1.21% 19 1570 13 1,074
      11. Mexico 1.19% 95 7983 10 840
      12. Spain 1.05% 41 3905 14 1,333
  • Anonymous Proxies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:39AM (#8408232)
    What is the Slashdotters' opinion on anonynous proxies?

    I personally find the web variety very useful to browse Slashdot, since Slashdot banned a large IP range in which I belong, due to some a-hole using scripts targetting this site.

    I equate Anonymous Cowards with Anonymous proxies in that they enable trolls, offtopics and first-posters.

    I find irony in that for all the anti-spam stance promoted by the slashdot editors and slashdotters in general, this site cant seem to find an uber-geek technical solution to thread-spamming here.
  • by Asprin (545477) <gsarnold AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:46AM (#8408299) Homepage Journal

    Does anyone know what metric was used to determine these rankings? Was it "country where the first SMTP transfer originated"? Was it "office address of the dude typing in the text of the spam"?

    I hate it when dudes publish 'findings' and don't explain how they got them. So much for the scientific method and reproducibility -- they could have made the whole thing up!

    [**NOTE** I am not saying they did make the numbers up, but as a matter of journalistic and scientific integrity, when you publish the results and don't publish the method used to determine those results, your cannot be evaluated as anything other than opinion. We're after facts, here, people, not truth. /RANT]
  • by tetranz (446973) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:54PM (#8408989)
    Its always inches or pounds.

    I've never received anything promising to add centimeters or lose kilograms.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:32PM (#8409432)
    In our efforts to fight SPAM, we seem to be ignoring the technique used to fight organized crime leaders. It was tough to get them for their actual crimes, but relatively easy to get them on tax-evasion for the wealth their crimes created.

    Most SPAM is trying to sell us something. Why not go after the business itself using local and state laws and IRS audits.? If the local fire department finds a coffee pot on a frayed extension cord, shut the building down for a month. That sort of thing. At the end of the month, let the IRS step in with a detailed audit, then the state labor practices agency for worker safety issues. Give those bureaucrats some raw meat to chew on and maybe they'll leave the rest of us alone.

    Word will soon go out that spamming makes life very unpleasant.

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