The findings of a new report by SophosLabs clearly don’t carry good news for India. The country tops the list of spam-relayers in the world for the third time in a row. Simply put, roughly one in every six spam emails comes from India.
The research found that India is responsible for 16.1 percent of the spam spotted by Sophos experts. The second country to feature on Sophos' list is Italy that is still quite behind India at 9.4 percent. While 5.3 percent of the world's Internet users reside in India, only 10.2 percent of the its population uses the Internet, only going on to indicate that there is a noticeable lack in security measures to protect the region's computers. SophosLabs reveals that spam does not necessarily emerge from India's computers. Instead, the numbers are an indication of the fact that infected machines have been “turned into spam-spitting zombies in botnets”, as Sophos's Graham Cluley pointed out when India pushed the US aside to become the top spam-relayer spot in April.
India tops the list again (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Cluley was further quoted as saying, “India's growing role as spam relayer points to the country's PCs not only being used to send spam, but likely being themselves targets of other online threats.” As per findings by SophosLabs' Dirty Dozen report a good number of PCs in the country have been infected by malware that then cause them to relay spam. These systems are controlled by cybercriminals, who see this a way of make money by either sending junk emails promoting questionable goods, or simply by using malicious spam to infect more computers.
It advises that the authorities in India to make IT security education a priority. “One would be safe to assume that, if computer users in the country are being targeted in order to relay spam, they are likely victims of other online threats such as fraud,” it added.
Shedding light on how India has been faring over the months, the report shockingly revealed that India has been at the top of this list for a while, and in doing so it pushed the US off the top slot in SophosLabs's April report, in which it accounted for 9.3 percent of the world's relayed spam. India strengthened its position in July by relaying 11.4 percent of the world's junk email, the report revealed. The UK, incidentally has featured on this list again, after being out for 18 months. Asia still tops the charts, if one were to look at it more broadly.
Earlier in April this year, Trend Micro had released a report stating that about 20 percent of spam originated from India. A Sophos report released in July revealed that India tops the world list in spam-relaying nations despite only 5.3 percent of the world’s Internet users reportedly living in India. It even says that if there’s a spam mail in your inbox, there's more than a one in ten chance that it was relayed from an Indian computer. The report went on to say that India topped the list by a significant margin and was accountable for 11.4 percent of the world’s spam seen throughout April, May, and June.