Friday, May 17, 2024

U.S. Bows to Europe as New Spam King

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The United States has lost its position as the leading source of spam in

the world, with Europe taking over the dubious lead.

The shift in positions stems from a dramatic increase in spam coming out

of Europe, particularly Western European countries, such as Germany,

France, the United Kingdom and Spain, according to new research from

Commtouch Software Ltd., an email security company based in Mountain

View, Calif. During this period, spam levels in the U.S. have held


If each country is counted singularly, however, the U.S. still is the

source of more spam than any other one country. Europe, as a whole, now

outpaces America.

Commtouch analysts report that on an average day last month, 967,437

separate outbreaks of spam were distributed. That’s up 94 percent from

the same time last year.

”These trends contradict prevalent assumptions — that spam is primarily
sent from developing areas,” says Oren Drori, director of product

marketing at Commtouch. ”In fact, Commtouch analysis shows that the

wealthy countries of Western Europe are the source of more spam than

developing Eastern European counterparts. The same trend can also be seen

in the Asia Pacific region. Richer countries simply spam more.”

Last month, Commtouch analysts detected spam being sent from 172

countries. Europe accounted for 24.7 percent of total spam, the bulk of
it (21.85 percent) coming from European Union countries. Japan and Korea

followed closely, together accounting for 24.24 percent of all spam being

sent out. Only 22.8 percent of spam originated in the United States.

Spam Content

The largest chunk of spam last month fell into the pharmaceutical


Commtouch reports that 35.5 percent of spam last month was related to

selling drugs, with tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs and anorexics

gaining popularity.

”Judging from February trends, one might conclude that the world is
getting more anxious, and that what sells best over the net are cut-rate
prescription drugs,” says Drori. ”A few months ago, you could be sure

that Viagra would capture the lion’s share of this segment, but today it

comes in second after the tranquilizer/anti-anxiety category.”

After pharmaceuticals comes shopping, software sales, pornography and


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