A study carried out by an antivirus company has shown that in 2012, India dethroned the USA when it came to sending spam. On the other hand, social networks were heavily invaded by spammers last year. As a result, they’ve taken a number of steps that have caused a stir among Internet users.
Dirty Dozen study on the origin of spam in 2012
The Dirty Dozen Study lists the 12 countries that sent the most spam worldwide during 2012. The top three places are occupied by India with 16.1% of spam sent, Italy with 9.4% and the USA with 6.5%. France is in 7th place with a 3.7% spam rate, preceded by Saudi Arabia with 5.1%, Brazil with 4% and Turkey with 3.8%. France is followed by five other countries: South Korea, Vietnam, China, Germany and the UK.
India’s rise to prominence was spectacular during 2012 and created many surprises. Even though 5.3% of Internet users live in this country, spam just passes through. Many botnets have been set up in India due to the lack of security in its infrastructure. From October to December, 48.7% of spam was relayed by several countries: Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Africa.
Spam and social networks
Thanks to the effectiveness of anti-spam and anti-virus filters installed on Internet users’ mailboxes, and the destruction of major botnets in 2011, cybercriminals have slowed down the sending of spam to e-mail, and have focused more on social networks. For their part, these community sites are doing their utmost to counter this massive invasion technically and judicially.
According to statistics published by a computer security software publisher, 8% of messages exchanged on social networks are spam, and 40% of accounts created are used by malicious people to spread their spam. While large-scale community sites are successfully combating this scourge, smaller, recently-created sites are struggling. Some spammers have taken advantage of the popularity of certain websites to insert their malicious code into the images published on them.
To combat spam, some social networks have set up a button on their page enabling users to report the existence of unwanted mail. But like any solution, this measure is not infallible. Some users have been unfairly penalized, but have no way of justifying their actions. Their account was suspended for a certain period of time due to a message classified as “inappropriate or irrelevant”. On other social networks, it is possible for users to block a person without that person being aware of the action. With several hundred social network users worldwide, the spam situation is still far from settled….