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China chasing USA in the Aussie spam race

  • 28 February, 2006 14:41

<p>SYDNEY, February 28. China is rapidly catching up with the USA as the main source of origin for spam emails to Australia, according to a new snapshot survey by anti-spam solution vendor New Millennium Solutions (NMS).</p>
<p>In the two weeks to 2 February 2006, 16.75 per cent of all spam sent to a sample of home users and small to medium businesses among NMS customers came from China, compared to only 7 per cent in September 2005. Spam from the USA dropped from 29 per cent in September 2005, to 26.06 per cent in the latest survey.</p>
<p>Spam originating in Australia declined from 9 per cent to 6.42 per cent. Other culprits in the latest survey were spammers in the Republic of Korea, 4.45%; Poland, 2.91%; UK, 2.66%; France, 2.50%; Germany, 2.46%; Spain, 2.09%; Brazil, 1.75%; Japan, 1.47%; Russian Federation, 1.14%; Taiwan, 1.13%; Canada, 1.03%. All these spam emails were blocked by NMS’s TotalBlock anti-spam solution.</p>
<p>Peter Stewart, Chairman of NMS, says: “Most clients who have been using our TotalBlock anti-spam solution are receiving less spam than they were a year ago. But new users are being targeted with unbelievable volumes: one was sent an average of 214 spam emails a day, and on his worst day would have received 304 if TotalBlock had not intercepted them. Over 50 per cent of his unwanted email comes from the US and China.”</p>
<p>The average per day for all TotalBlock customers is 15 junk emails in the current sample and this is up from 7 in the previous sample.</p>
<p>Stewart says TotalBlock users who have been with the system for a while are receiving less junk email than they were initially. He attributes this decline to TotalBlock’s challenge/response technology, which asks all new email senders to respond to a request to verify their emails. Genuine emailers respond, but automated spam is incapable of doing so.</p>
<p>“It seems the spammers are taking our clients off their target lists because their automated systems tell them their junk emails are not getting through,” says Stewart. “However, new TotalBlock users are receiving far higher volumes at the time of joining than users who joined a year ago.”</p>
<p>Nearly 70 per cent of spam comes from email addresses ending in .com, while 85% is sent from .com, net, .de and .uk addresses.</p>
<p>China’s spam crackdown</p>
<p>The news agency AP reports that China’s official Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday February 21 that the country is cracking down on junk e-mail and ‘illegal’ mobile phone text messages. A new regulation will ban sending e-mail for advertising purposes to people without their permission, and all advertising e-mail must be titled "advertisement" or "AD," the agency said.</p>
<p>AP says it is not clear how well the rules could be enforced. Several countries and U.S. states have anti-spam laws, yet junk e-mail continues to be an online pest, with much of it coming from or through computers in China and other Asian countries. China now has 111 million Internet users, second only to the United States, and Xinhua said Tuesday that each e-mail subscriber in China received an average of 16.8 pieces of junk e-mail a week from August 2004 to April 2005.</p>
<p>"China has become seriously affected by junk e-mail," said Li Guobin, an official with the country's Ministry of Information Industry.</p>
<p>Stewart said: “It is interesting to note that while China seems to be taking similar steps to the USA and Australia in terms of anti-spam regulation, overall volumes of spam are considerably higher for our new customers than they were in our former sample. This emphasises that the battle between filtering technology and the spam senders is already won by the spammers, while the fact that volumes for our long term customers are lower means that anti-spam solutions that use blocking technology are winning. If everyone used blocking solutions like TotalBlock, it would eliminate spam problems.“</p>
<p>Spam countries of origin</p>
<p>USA, 26.06%; China, 16.75; Australia, 6.42%; Republic of Korea, 4.45%; Poland, 2.91%; UK, 2.66%; France, 2.50%; Germany, 2.46%; Spain, 2.09%; Brazil, 1.75%; Japan, 1.47%; Russian Federation, 1.14%; Taiwan, 1.13%; Canada, 1.03%. Turkey, 0.93%; Netherlands 0.92%; Italy, 0.82%; India, 0.81%; Mexico, 0.79%; Romania, 0.53%; Hong Kong, 0.49%; Israel, 0.46%; Philippines, 0.45%; Uruguay, 0.44%; Portugal, 0.44%; Thailand, 0.41%; Chile, 0.35%; Malaysia, 0.34%; Argentina, 0.33%; Hungary, 0.33%; Switzerland, 0.31%; Singapore, 0.30%; Sweden, 0.27%; Czech Republic, 0.23%; Peru, 0.22%; South Africa, 0.20%; Austria, 0.20%; Columbia, 0.20%; Vietnam, 0.19%; Lithuania, 0.17%; New Zealand, 0.16%; Belgium, 0.16%; Norway, 0.16%; Finland, 0.16%; Nigeria, 0.15%; Slovenia, 0.15%; Denmark, 0.14%; Morocco, 0.14%; Ukraine, 0.12%; Slovakia, 0.12%; Pakistan, 0.11%; Egypt, 0.11%; Bulgaria, 0.11%; Latvia, 0.11%; Ireland, 0.10%; Indonesia, 0.09%; Venezuela, 0.09%; United Arab Emirates, 0.09%; Greece, 0.08%; Croatia, 0.08%; Kuwait, 0.07%; Serbia &amp; Montenegro, 0.07%, Guatemala, 0.07%.</p>
<p>About TotalBlock</p>
<p>TotalBlock - www.totalblock.net - is an Australian-developed anti-spam solution that blocks ALL spam, using the challenge-response methodology rather than less reliable filtering techniques. TotalBlock quickly and easily builds up a list of acceptable incoming email senders by replying automatically to all those who are not on the user’s allowed list. The reply message contains a simple action that, when followed, automatically adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since the authorisation process requires human intervention, the challenge process bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam. All address book entries are authorised automatically, as are senders who reply to mail sent by the user.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Peter Stewart or Ben Corby David Frost
New Millennium Solutions PR Deadlines
Tel. 61-2-9437 9800 Tel. 61-2-4341 5021</p>

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