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These are the countries sending the most spam emails

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike)

Phishing is a common method deployed by hackers to gain information that can be used in identity theft and credential stuffing attacks, but the technique is more popular in some territories than others.

According to a new report from Barracuda Networks, which analyzed more than two billion emails (opens in new tab) sent in January 2020, Lithuania is responsible for the highest proportion of phishing attacks, followed by Latvia and Serbia.

The company calculates phishing probability as the number of phishing emails coming from a country, divided by the total number of emails delivered by local senders.

Although the US is responsible for the largest number of phishing emails, the country's phising probability is extremely low (at 0.02 percent), due to the enormous amount of legitimate email that goes out.

The report also claims a “surprisingly large” number of attacks come from large, legitimate cloud providers, such as Amazon and Microsoft. Barracuda believes criminals are able to leverage compromised  servers and/or email accounts hosted by these providers. 

Compared to their overall traffic, the providers with the highest phishing probability are Rackspace and Salesforce, Barracuda concluded.

Chris Ross, SVP International at Barracuda Networks, says businesses should deploy AI-powered cybersecurity tools and train their staff on the dangers lurking in their inbox.

“Deploying email security that utilizes artificial intelligence will help streamline this process to pick up and flag communication anomalies and detect certain threats designed to bypass basic email protection,” he said.

“Additionally, improving security awareness through training will help to detect security weak points in an organization, and improve data management protocols for the long term.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.