Spam: India leads world in junk emails

Spam in email inbox Many spammers have shifted their focus from email to social networks

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India has become the top spam-spewing nation on the planet, suggests a report.

Compiled by security firm Sophos, the report ranks nations by the amount of junk mail routed through computers in each country.

India has leapt to the top of the spam chart in less than a year, rapidly overtaking the US, said Sophos.

About 10% of all junk mail sent across the web came from or passed through computers in India, said the firm.

India's rapid rise up the chart of spam producers has been helped by the rapid growth of the web in the country, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

The inexperience of the many first-time net users in India had led many to fall victim to hi-tech criminals, he said.

"The latest stats show that, as more first-time internet users get online in growing economies, they are not taking measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies," he added.

Social networks

About 80% of all junk email is thought to be routed through PCs hijacked by hi-tech criminals who use computer viruses to seize control of the machines. Once a machine is under their control they use them to send out mail on their behalf, typically relaying it from another nation.

Sophos estimates that about 9.3% of all junk mail travels through Indian computers. In second place is the US (8.3%) and South Korea (5.7%) is third.

India's rise up the rankings was also helped by the ongoing shift away from traditional email by spammers. More and more of them, said Sophos, were using social networks as the route to spread their junk messages.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were all being hit with increasing regularity by spammers, said Sophos.

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