The State of Spam – Symantec Reveals the Top U.S. Spammed States

Courtesy of MessageLabs

MessageLabs today unveiled a list of the top U.S. spammed states… and the results may surprise you. The spam capital of the US is Idaho with 93.8 percent of spam, far exceeding the global spam rate for September 2009 of 86.4 percent.

Idaho has jumped 43 spots since 2008 when it was ranked the 44th most spammed state. The difference can be attributed to the resilient and aggressive botnet market as well as a higher volume of global spam that has ensued since the beginning of the credit crisis toward the end of 2008.

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There are currently between four million and six million computers scattered across the globe that have been compromised to form the powerful botnets responsible for the majority of spam. They’re used by cybercriminals to send out more than 87% of all unsolicited mail, equating to approximately 151 billion emails a day.

The top spammed U.S. states in order: Idaho, Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Maryland.

“Some of the high spam levels seen across the US can be attributed to the economic challenges experienced globally since the end of 2008 as well as Internet advancement including the high adoption of social networking,” said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec. “Spammers have taken full advantage of both the economic uncertainty of some and the trustworthiness of others for their own rewards. Automated tools, resilient botnets and targeted spam campaigns are all part of the spammers’ toolkit and they are constantly evolving these techniques to outsmart any effort to stop them. No state is immune to the affects of spam.”

The least spammed? The US territory of Puerto Rico, with 83.1 percent of spam (just below  the global average spam level). Puerto Rico retained its status among the least spammed states since 2008. Other states with the least amount of spam: Montana, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Florida.

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