China claims spam crown UserPageVisits:211 active 80 80 DaniWeb 561 60 2008-11-22T17:34:43+00:00

China claims spam crown


The United States holds many titles, some of them causes for joy while others are reason for shame. The latter category has long included 'King of Spam' being the country from which the majority of the spam on the planet originates.

However, thanks to the closure of just one spam hosting service recently, it has now lost that crown of shame to China. According to one security outfit that monitors spam traffic, Network Box, China now produces more spam than the US, more spam than anywhere else for that matter.

As a direct consequence of the California-based McColo hosting service, said to have been responsible for distributing as much as 75 percent of global spam, spam volumes dropped dramatically as botnet herders struggle to regain control over compromised computers the world over. It seems that malware traffic has also taken a big hit. Simon Heron, Internet Security Analyst at Network Box, told me that "We've also seen a significant drop in emails containing viruses and phishing attacks. This indicates that McColo's servers were also used to distribute malicious emails containing viruses, and not just the usual junk marketing mail."

However, Heron also warns that "McColo came back online briefly over last weekend, most likely uploading all the command and control software required to run the botnets. So we'd expect spam to be back to usual levels in a couple of weeks using servers based in Russia."

For the moment though, China gets the spam crown and also seems to be winning in the cyber warfare stakes as well. US Congress has warned that China now has the capability to launch a cyber warfare strikeanywhere in the world and at any time. The Congress report goes as far as to claim that the Chinese cyber warfare capability is "so sophisticated that the US may be unable to counteract or even detect the efforts."

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

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