Oli Warner About Contact Subscribe

Where spam comes from

Sunday, 19 August 2007 security spam

Have you ever wondered where the content of your junk-mail folder (or inbox) comes from?

Spam isn’t the most harmful things on the internet, by any means but it does account for a large chunk of a lot of everybody’s online time, unless they’ve taken (or allowed somebody to take) extensive measures to clean out their inbox.

It is estimated that 90 billion spam emails are sent every day. With all the blocking, 5% of that still hits the inbox. On the assumption that it takes you 5 seconds to switch to your email client, notice the message is spam and delete it, collectively, as a species, we waste 713 years of life every day. But where is the spam coming from?

By location

Graphical breakdown of where spam comes from

Based on Spamhaus’s TOP10 Spam Origin Country list.

It should be noted that botnets (see below) are responsible for the vast majority of spam sent. One conclusion to be drawn from these figures is that America has the highest number of infected computers participating in botnets.

By server type

Graphical breakdown of what types of server spam comes from

The figures are an amalgamation of several statistics including those from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, Sandvine [via BBC] and ZoneLabs. They’re by no means 100% accurate but they do offer a rough picture of what we face in terms of the network infrastructure for spammers.

I’ll develop this topic at a later time and update this post to show it.