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US remains spam e-mail colossus

The US continues to wear the crown as the leading nation for spam production, accounting for nearly half the world's spam e-mail, according to Symantec.

The US continues to wear the crown as the leading nation for spam production, accounting for nearly half the world's spam e-mail, according to Symantec.

The security firm's most recent Internet Security Threat Report shows that around 45% of all spam messages were sent from computers within the US.

"The United States is still the number one spam distributor in the world," Symantec security researcher Nick Sullivan said in a posting on its web site.

Spam from the US outnumbers spam from China, second in the ranking, at a rate of seven to one. This did not mean the spammers themselves were American, Sullivan said, pointing out that the spam could have originated in other countries but have been directed via the US.

In the Middle East, the UAE is ranked the highest country for spam, coming in at 51 in Symantec's listing, ahead of Qatar at 55, Saudi Arabia at 64 and Kuwait at 65. Bahrain was the 72nd largest source country for spam, according to Symantec.

Kevin Isaac, regional director of Symantec MENA, said the figures did not necessarily show that spammers themselves were active in the Middle East, pointing out the high numbers of botnet computers that had been detected in the region.

Isaac said security concerns would increase as broadband usage increased, highlighting Saudi Arabia as a country he though would see a spike in internet attacks in the next year.

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