Spam-Bot Invaders: Which countries send the most spam?

When you consider the country’s huge online population, it’s not surprising that the U.S. sends so much spam. Spam comes from “bots” — computers infected with malware and under the control of a criminal. “Bot masters” can use servers anywhere in the world to give the bots instructions. So spam-bots in the countries on our list aren’t the authors of the spam, they are more like the messengers.

While it’s interesting to call out the 12 “dirty dozen” countries that send the most spam by volume, we also like to look at the amount of spam by population. It’s a diverse list of nations, and even small countries have a big spam problem.

The Dirty Dozen Spampionship

We’ve been measuring spam in our quarterly “Spampionship” going back a few years, and the U.S. consistently tops our charts. As you can see in the graphic below, bots in the U.S. send by far the most spam of any country, with second-place France (responsible for 6.7% of spam) well behind.

Other countries in our top 12 include China (third at 6.2% of spam) and Russia (fifth at 5.1% of spam), both consistently at the top of our charts quarter after quarter.

Spam per person – a fairer measure

We also look at spam “per person.” We do this because we think it’s a fairer measure of how spammy a country is. By setting the U.S. as the baseline, we can see how likely it is that a computer in a given country is a spam-sending bot compared to the U.S.

This past quarter, Bulgaria was the top country for spam per person, coming in at 2.1 times the U.S. Belarus, which had been the tops of the spam per-person chart for the past year, dropped to second place, at 1.9 times the U.S. spam level.


Fight back against spam and cybercrime – kill a spam-bot

Spam is truly a global problem — spam-bots can be anywhere in the world. Remember, if your computer is infected with spam-sending bot malware, you are part of the problem. Do your part to fight back against spam — download our free Virus Removal Tool to scan your computer and automatically clean up malware.

You can learn more about our “Spampionship” series by visiting our award-winning Naked Security blog. If you’re a business looking to keep your email secure, Sophos blocks spam and email-borne threats. Learn more about email security from Sophos

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