India is top target for spam

Tech advancement is outstripping security awareness in India, while the U.S. still leads as biggest junk mail producer.

Tom Espiner Special to CNET News
India's rapid adoption of new technology has left its PC users struggling to cope with high levels of spam, according to a report released Wednesday.

Ninety-one percent of e-mail traffic sent to Indian PC users is spam, according to e-mail security company MessageLabs, which warned that the rate of technological advancement has outstripped growth in security awareness.

"There is booming technology in India, but it has been suggested there is little thought for security, which creates a market to exploit that," said Paul Wood, security analyst at MessageLabs.

The majority of junk e-mail still comes from the U.S., or is generated by American spammers who have moved their operations abroad, said MessageLabs.

"American companies use host services in other countries with laxer spam laws--perhaps a server farm in South America or an ISP in China. Communications between the spammer and the server can be encrypted, so the provider may not know what the server is being used for," Wood said.

The MessageLabs Intelligence Report for February also found that the United Arab Emirates had the highest rate of viruses transmission, with one virus received per 13.9 e-mails.

"This could be collateral damage of a large viral outbreak local to the region," Wood said.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.