U.S. is world’s spam capital, Canada “no longer” among top offenders

Five years after Bill Gates declared that spam would be a thing of the past within two years, spammers continue to cause problems for computer users, using sites like Facebook and Twitter as a vehicle for their antics.

In its report on the latest trends in spam, IT security and control firm reveals that Cybercriminals have shown an increased attraction to social networking sitessuch as Facebook and Twitter during this last quarter, indicating that spammers are successfully adapting their methods to suit the current environment.

These sites have become part of many computer users’ daily routine – whether it’s logging on to see what their friends are up to, viewing photos, or updating their status, masses of personal information is updated every minute.

Such frequent use makes social networking sites a prime target for spammers and malware authors who typically attempt to break into innocent users’ accounts and take advantage of trusted social networks to send spam and malware.

For example, in November, Sophos reported that Facebook had won a US$873 million judgement against a Canadian man who bombarded millions of Facebook members with unsolicited spam messages

The spammer tricked users into revealing their passwords and usernames and then used the information to gain access to their personal profiles. Facebook claimed that the man then sent out more than four million messages promoting products from marijuana to sexual enhancement drugs.

In its report on the latest trends in spam, IT security and control firm reveals that Cybercriminals have shown an increased attraction to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter during this last quarter, indicating that spammers are successfully adapting their methods to suit the current environment.

These sites have become part of many computer users’ daily routine – whether it’s logging on to see what their friends are up to, viewing photos, or updating their status, masses of personal information is updated every minute.

Such frequent use makes social networking sites a prime target for spammers and malware authors who typically attempt to break into innocent users’ accounts and take advantage of trusted social networks to send spam and malware.

For example, in November, Sophos reported that Facebook had won a US$873 million judgement against a Canadian man who bombarded millions of Facebook members with unsolicited spam messages.

Sophos also revealed the top twelve spam-relaying countries for the final quarter of 2008. Between October and December 2008, the U.S. relayed most of the world’s unwanted emails.

China has leapt back into second place, relaying a larger proportion of spam than it did in 2004, and Russia retains third position. In contrast, other nations like Canada, Japan and France–serial offenders five years ago — appear to have made progress and are no longer present in the list of spam reprobates.

“Although there’s no denying that some countries have significantly reduced their contribution to the spam epidemic over the past five years, the US still holds the crown,” said Cluley.

“Though its spam contribution has significantly decreased since Bill Gates’s proclamation – falling from almost half of all spam relayed at the end of 2004, to 21.3 percent by the end of 2007, and now resting at 19.8 percent — this shows there’s certainly no quick fix.”

Source: CIO.com

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