Asia is now responsible for relaying 49.7 percent of all spam captured in SophosLabs's global network of spam traps in the second quarter of 2012, revealed the IT security and data protection firm Sophos.
Sophos has published the latest 'Dirty Dozen' of spam-relaying countries in which it reports that while North America continued to reduce the proportion of spam it relayed by e-mail, Asia had increased its output.
Top spam relaying continents for April-June 2012 are as follows:
1) Asia 49.7%
2) Europe 26.4%
3) South America 11.2%
4) North America 8.6%
5) Africa 3.6%
India is the topper in the list
According to the report, India has emerged as the leader of this pack in Asia. "Despite only 5.3 percent of the world's Internet users reportedly living in India, the country 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," said the report.
The UK has managed to remain out of the top 12 spam-relaying countries for the last four consecutive quarters, having last appeared in April - June 2011.
The US dropped from the top spot of spam-relaying countries to second place in Q1, and has now moved down to fourth place behind India, Italy and South Korea.
According to the Sophos report, the top 12 spam-relaying countries for April to June 2012 are as follows:
1) India 11.4%
2) Italy 7.0%
3) South Korea 6.7%
4) USA 6.2%
6) Brazil 4.4%
7) Pakistan 3.7%
8) China 3.2%
9) France 3.1%
10) Russia 2.9%
11) Poland 2.7%
12) Taiwan 2.6%
"The chief driver for Asia's dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Malicious hackers hijack poorly-protected computers, and command them - without their owners realising - to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC or Mac is properly defended against such attacks. If they take no care over their computers they're simply adding to the world's spam problem."