Symantec called this a "significant shift" in spam trends as, historically, compromised U.S. computers have been used to send spam, and many spammers have been U.S.-based.
Fredrik Sjostedt, one of Symantec's European product marketing managers, told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that Symantec suspectsare taking advantage of the increasing European broadband market.
"The penetration of broadband is tremendous in Europe," Sjostedt said. "We've now
Symantec also believes many spammers are now based in Europe. "Historically the majority of spammers were U.S.-based, but now we're seeing a lot of Eastern European and Russian spam gangs active. Spammers tend to use closer turf as a jump off point," Sjostedt said.
More broadband means compromised computers can send spam faster, while gangs are increasingly becoming organized, said the Symantec manager.
"We've moved away from traditional, individual spammers, to loosely tied groups of spam senders, malware coders, and people selling access to botnets," Sjostedt said.
The largest botnet sending spam originated with the
"Storm is the most prevalent distribution method" for spam, Sjostedt said. While most spam relays are in Europe, botnets are global phenomena, he pointed out.
Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.