India tops 'Dirty Dozen' to become world leader in spamming

India has earned the infamous title of the world's largest sender of spam with one out of every six junk messages coming from the country, research revealed today.

According to a 'Dirty Dozen' report from security firm SophosLabs, which listed 12 countries that are the world's biggest culprits for sending spam, India came out on top and now accounts for 16 per cent of the world's junk emails.

Sophos spokesperson Graham Cluley thinks this spam doesn't necessarily come directly from India's computers, but rather from the country's "ill-protected machines" that "have been turned into spam-spitting zombies in botnets". So those people who are creating the spam could be originating from anywhere.

He insisted that the Indian population, which accounts for 5.3 per cent of the world's Internet users, need better education around IT security.

"The latest Dirty Dozen report suggests that a not insignificant number of PCs in India are harbouring malware infections that turn PCs into spam-spitting zombie slaves, controlled by the cybercriminals who make money by punting junk emails to promote questionable goods, or simply use malicious spam to infect more computers", he said.

Italy closely follows India's lead in the spam-sending stakes by sending nearly 10 per cent of the world's junk. The US, which has been the number one spamming country for years, is now at third place with 6.5 per cent.

Security reports over the last year have shown that malware is on the rise. Research published by McAfee last month revealed malware is multiplying at a faster pace now than any other time in the last four years.