Spam Without Borders
There are almost no spam-free zones left in the world today. For many years, spammers have fought hard for areas of the world from which they could launch spam attacks, constantly trying to maintain their conquered territories while annexing new ones. Meanwhile law-enforcement agencies, anti-spam vendors and other interested parties are doing their best to combat the ‘invasion’.
Statistics show that unlike 2010, in 2011 the share of spam distributed from different regions stopped fluctuating from month to month. No longer is half the world’s spam coming from just three countries. The zombie machines used to spread spam emails are now distributed fairly evenly throughout the world, signalling the end of the spammers’ geographical expansion. Infected computers sending spam are now found as far afield as South Africa and on remote Pacific islands.
This shift in the geographical spread of spam sources is primarily down to progress on the legal front, and the growing global reach of the Internet as well as the closure of botnets and affiliate programs. Almost nowhere has escaped the interests of the bot-masters: strong legislation in the developed world is offset by fast and widespread Internet connectivity, while developing nations are catching up in terms of computer access but still have weak anti-spam legislation and low levels of IT security.
“According to Kaspersky Lab, in the near future the BRICS and other rapidly developing countries will top the rating of the most prolific sources of spam because they are of particular interest to the spammers from the ‘legislation/IT protection/number of users/bandwidth’ point of view. We also expect the amount of spam originating from the US to grow, although it will not reach its previous level. Widely available Internet connectivity and a large number of users attract botnet owners in spite of the raft of anti-spam legislation adopted in the country and the high level of IT protection in use,” comments Darya Gudkova, Head of Content Analysis & Research.
More information about the migration of spam sources and the reasons behind it as well as a brief history of the spam industry’s key milestones are available in the article ‘Planet of the Spammers’ by Darya Gudkova at: www.securelist.com.