India has overtaken the US to become the top global contributor to spam, or unsolicited emails, accounting for one in 10 spam messages in your inbox, a new report from security firm Sophos reveals.
The experts at SophosLabs have released their latest “dirty dozen” report for Q1 2012, detailing the world’s top spam-relaying countries – and they’ve discovered that in the space of a year, India has overtaken the US to become the top global contributor to the junk email problem.
“If you have a spam in your inbox, there’s an almost one in ten chance that it was relayed from an Indian computer,” says Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, on the firm’s security blog, NakedSecurity.
And to add to the security threat levels, Sophos experts maintain that it is home computers that are most vulnerable to becoming inadvertent propagators of spam. “The vast majority of spam comes from home computers that have been compromised by hackers, and commandeered into a botnet,” says Cluley.
“Remote hackers can send spam from recruited computers, as well as potentially steal information or install other malicious code.”
The good news, according to Sophos experts, is that thanks in part to better monitoring by ISPs around the world, the overall throughput of global email spam messages has decreased since Q1 2011.
But what’s worrying is that the lesser number of spam in your inbox is also the result of cybercriminals now focusing their attention on your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“Spammers are increasingly finding traditional email spam ineffective, turning to social networks to spread these kinds of marketing spam campaigns instead,” says Cluley.
And the attacks are not limited to just two of the most popular social networking sites. “[H]ot new social network Pinterest has been used by spammers to distribute posts linking to webpages offering to sell goods, or earning commission for the spammers.”
According to Cluley, latest stats show that, as more first-time Internet users get online in growing economies, they are not taking appropriate measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies.