Australia cuts down on spam: Report

The ACMA and iCode initiative take credit for reduction in unwanted junk mail.

Australia has reduced its spam, according to the quarterly international spam rankings released by Sophos.

Australia accounted for 0.26 per cent of global spam in the second quarter, making it 52nd in the world, the report revealed. This is an improvement over September 2010 when Australia accounted for 1 per cent of all spam.

Sophos gave credit to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the iCode initiative for reducing spam.

“With the ACMA’s record in penalising scammers and getting businesses to avoid spamming, as well as our world class Australian Internet Security Initiative, we are streets ahead of many other parts of the world,” Chairman, Chris Chapman, said in a statement.

From 2011 to 2012, “the ACMA saw a sixfold increase in spam reports,” Chapman said. “This massive increase tells us that our awareness activities have worked.”

In the last financial year, the ACMA sent 4200 informal warnings to businesses about possible spam law breaches, the agency said. The ACMA made seven formal warning and accepted three enforceable undertakings.

“Spammers take heed,” said Chapman. “The ACMA will continue to be vigilant in suppressing spam in our backyard.”

India produced the most spam of any country with 11.4 per cent of all spam, despite only 5.3 per cent of the world’s Internet users living there, Sophos said. The USA, once the top spam producer and was second place in Q1, dropped to fourth place with 6.2 per cent of the world’s spam.

Breaking down the numbers by continent, Asia surpassed all others with 49.7 per cent of the world’s spam. Europe made second place with 26.4 per cent.

“The chief driver for Asia’s dominance in the spam charts is the sheer number of compromised computers in the continent,” said Sophos senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley.

“Malicious hackers hijack poorly-protected computers, and command them—without their owners realising—to send out unwanted money-making messages and malicious links.”

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