China is no longer a spam haven

China is no longer one of the world's most egregious spam-sending nations, according to the latest numbers from Sophos.

According to the security company's first-quarter 'Dirty Dozen' spam report, China was responsible for just 1.9 per cent of the world's spam, having peaked at over 5 per cent a year ago.

The US is still the worst offender when it comes to relaying spam, and by a significant margin. The country tops the list with 13.1 per cent of unwanted in-box effluent.

Its closest rivals are India, Brazil and South Korea, with 7.3 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

The UK is tied with Russia and Italy for 9th position on the list, with 3.1 per cent.

China, widely regarded as a relatively lawless corner of the Internet, dropped off the list of the top 12 spamming nations for the first time.

"Countries such as the USA would do well to remember that cleaning up infected PCs in their own back yard will be an important step in fighting cybercrime,” Sophos senior consultant Graham Cluely said.

Sophos said that “virtually all” spam is sent via compromised home and business computers.