Internet security outfit Sophos has published a report listing the top 12 countries from which spam is sent.
Unsolicited 'spam' email is sent by malicious software that is secretly installed on victim computers, giving hackers a 'back door' into the system that can be used to turn the PC into a relay for spam.
According to the figures, the United Kingdom has shot up from ninth place to fourth, accounting for 4.6 per cent of the world's spam. The USA is responsible for 15.2 per cent of global spam - an increase on the 13.1 per cent recorded in the last report.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “It's sad to see spam relayed via compromised European computers on the rise - the UK, France, Italy and Poland have all crept up the rankings since the start of the year."
Sophos believe that 97 per cent of all e-mails received by businesses are spam.
According to Sophos, the top 12 spam-relaying countries from April to June 2010 were:
1. USA 15.2%
2. India 7.7%
3. Brazil 5.5%
4. UK 4.6%
5. S Korea 4.2%
6. France 4.1%
7. Germany 4.0%
8. Italy 3.5%
9. Russia 2.8%
10. Vietnam 2.7%
11. Poland 2.5%
12. Romania 2.3%