Application security

Two-thirds of spam servers are in Taiwan, study finds

Nearly two-thirds of all spam relays are located in Taiwan, according to new research.

The study, carried out by messaging security firm CipherTrust, found that 64 percent of servers spewing out spam are based in Taiwan. The U.S. is second with 23 percent and China is third at three percent.

Researchers also found that there was a 21-percent increase in the number of new zombie computers in the past month and a 20-percent increase in overall unwanted e-mail traffic. According to the information gathered, this significant jump may coincide with the sharp rise in the use of randomized image-based stock spam in which spammers use more challenging graphics-based messages to avert traditional anti-spam deployments.

Paul Judge, chief technology officer, CipherTrust, said the latest research identified the location of the originating servers.

“Not only can we use our technology to monitor zombie activity and analyse how spammers and phishers benefit from those compromised machines, but also we are now able to examine their origins. This is important information for ISPs and law enforcement authorities in determining where to focus their efforts to make a real difference in the fight against attackers,” he said.

The firm deployed a network of zombie-like machines around the world to collect messages from spammers trying to exploit those machines and feed the information into its TrustedSource reputation system. From there it was able to determine the location of the spam servers.

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