The world’s top 10 spammers

August 22, 2008

The world’s top 10 spamming countries account for 55 per cent of the total global spam volume, says Secure Computing, a public company that provides enterprise security solution, in its Internet Threats Report.

Spam is the unwanted e-mail messages that you find in your mail box. It is primarily electronic junk mail sent to your e-mail account or even your cellphone.

Spammers are continuing to use pop culture and current events (US elections, Olympics, etc) to entice end users into responding or clicking on links whose sole purpose is to download malware.

1. United States, 16.56%

The United States is the world’s largest spammer and accounts for more than 16.5 per cent of global spam.

Spam is up 280% from last year (at this time). This year’s peak on spam volume was March 27 at 185 billion spam messages. Since March we have seen spam steadily decrease.

2. Russia, 6.71%

Over 6.7 per cent of global spam emerges from Russia, making it the world’s second largest spammer.

The Secure Research report says that there was a 45 per cent increase in the average number of porn sites found daily since January 2008.

50 pre cent of all Web sites’ content is now in non-English languages, and this too is adding to the growing spam volume.

3. Turkey, 6.51%

Turkey ranks number 3 in the world when it comes to spamming. It accounts for per cent of global spam.

Among the types of spam, male enhancement, product replica, prescription drugs, gambling, pornography, debt job offer, phishing were the major contronutors.

4. Brazil, 5.29%

Brazil, with per cent of global spam, ranks 4th in the world.

Spammers continue to use pop culture and current events like the Olympics or US elections to lure users into responding or clicking on links whose sole purpose is to download malware.

5. Italy, 4.32%

Italy, the world’s 5th largest spammer, accounts for per cent of global spam.

6. China, 3.49%

China ranks 6th among the The world’s top 10 spammers and accounts for per cent of global spam.

7. Great Britain, 3.37%

Great Britain accounts for per cent of global spam and is ranked 7th largest spammer.

8. Colombia, 3.09%

Colombia takes the 8th spot amongst the world’s biggest spammers and accounts for per cent of global spam.

9. India, 2.99%

India is one of the top 10 spammers in the world and it accounts for 2.99 per cent of global spam.

The country is the world’s 9th largest spammer, and as its Internet infrastructure improves with rising prosperity the amount of spam or unsolicited e-mails emerging from India too is likely to multiply.

10. South Korea, 2.87%

South Korea sends slightly less spam than India, but with a contribution of 2.87 per cent to global spam it is the world’s 10th largest spammer.

How to secure yourself from spam

Various methods to save yourself from incoming spam exist. These include:

  • Using spam-filtering software. Trend Micro, Symantec, Computer Associates, Sophos (Satcom), McAfee, Netscreen, Prime Infotec, GajShield Infotech and Websense provide specialised anti-spam solutions in the Indian market.
  • A spam filter is a piece of software that sorts incoming e-mail messages and blocks those that it thinks are spam. While filtering can be very useful, it’s not perfect as sometimes filters fail to identify spam-and they mistakenly block a genuine, non-spam message. Adjusting the filter settings can help minimise these risks. To prevent this one can also choose to direct spam into a special folder set aside for reviewing all messages that the software filter tags as spam.
  • Upgrading your Internet security to ensure that spammers can’t send spam via your computer.
  • Never reply to a spam message and never click on any links, especially ‘unsubscribe’ links in such messages because then you give yourself away as a real user and thus leave yourself open to be spammed even more.
  • Being aware of spam and of ways to secure yourself too helps curb the menace.
  • You should never buy anything through an unsolicited e-mail. By buying through such messages, you help keep such business economically viable.
  • Instantly delete unsolicited e-mails, for such messages can also harm your machine by spreading viruses or worms.
  • When you send e-mails to many people at the same time, use the BCC (blind copy) field so that the recipients are unable to see the other addresses. This also helps curb spamming.
  • The government too can help curb spam by enacting legislation that punishes offenders.
  • Don’t give out your e-mail ID on instant messengers, chat rooms, et cetera.

  • FDA Plans for National Joint Orthopedic Device Registry

    August 22, 2008

    The FDA is in the beginning stages of developing a program that would create a national surveillance net for orthopedic device implants.

    Through such a national registry, the FDA would explore independent public and private registries that could feed claim information into a central agency-regulated network.

    Orthopedic device manufacturers would benefit from the program because it would “offer more timely, comprehensive assessment of the ‘real world’ experience of their devices and an alternative means to conduct mandated postapproval studies,” an FDA spokesman said.

    However, some in the industry caution that a government-run registry might hold too many limitations, given budget and resource restrictions. “One of the challenges the FDA and other agencies face is being able to devote resources in a continuing way. And our view is that registries will bring up more questions than answers,” David Lewallen, chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) American Joint Replacement Registry Oversight Board and head of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, said. “It wouldn’t be impossible to do it through a government-run agency, but it is a bigger challenge.”

    Another limitation is maintaining patient confidentiality. “Unless there are some safeguards in place, people would be wary of a federal-run system. It may even discourage some people from reporting adverse events,” Lewallen said.

    The FDA has issued a request for quotations to receive input from the most useful data sources that choose to be involved. Quotations should be submitted by the first of September.

    Source: FDAnews

    India’s Olympic Campaign: 3 medals for the first time ever

    August 22, 2008

    India’s fledgling Olympic campaign today received a sensational boost with unheralded grappler Sushil Kumar clinching a bronze medal and boxer Vijender Kumar today got a bronze to give the country a record three medals for the first time ever.

    After Abhinav Bindra’s gold-winning feat during the first week of the sporting extravaganza, the 25-year-old Sushil Kumar shot into fame by winning a bronze medal in the wrestling arena while Vijender has put himself on course for a silver or gold medal on a historic day for Indian sports.

    Sushil and Vijender’s heroics not only provided the late sparks to an otherwise dismal campaign but has created a record of sorts as India had never returned with three medals from the Olympics.

    India had won two Olympic medals in the 1952 Helsinki Games when the hockey team had won the gold medal and wrestler K D Jadhav had won a bronze medal, a record which had stood for 56 long years.

    While Sushil and Vijender did the country proud, there was some heartbreak for the Indians with another medal contender pugilist Jitender Kumar losing his quarter-final bout despite a valiant effort in the ring.

    After days of disappointments, it turned out to be a day to cherish for the Indians as Sushil found his way to the record books by becoming only the second wrestler in India’s Olympic history to win a bronze medal in the men’s 66 kg freestyle category.

    Vijender loses in semis, wins bronze

    August 22, 2008

    Indian boxer Vijender Kumar settled for a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics after being out-punched by Cuban Emilio Correa Bayeaux in the semifinals of the 75kg category on Friday.

    The 22-year-old was simply out-thought by his Cuban rival who negated the height and reach advantage of Vijender by fighting from a long range to score an 8-5 win.

    But even in defeat, Vijender has made history, becoming the only Indian boxer to clinch an Olympic medal.

    Vijender, a Doha Asiad bronze medallist, struggled to connect his punches and was trailing from the very start.

    In fact he failed to score a single point in the opening round, which ended 2-0 in the Cuban’s favour.

    Forced to play the catch-up game, Vijender managed a slight recovery in the second round as he reduced the deficit to just one point ending the second round 3-4 behind.

    Bayeaux stuck to his strategy of back-paddling after landing punches, most of which were straight and more importantly precise.

    The Cuban’s lightening fast reflexes thwarted Vijender’s attacks and the Indian once again failed to score in the third round.

    The decider saw a desperate Vijender on the offensive but the Cuban survived the brief assault, although earning a two-point penalty for committing a foul, leaving the scoreline 8-5.

    Why US could lose tech edge to India

    August 22, 2008

    The United States may be synonymous with the high-tech revolution, but it is fast losing its edge in science and technology, fear US corporate bosses, sociologists, educators and some politicians.

    Cybercities 2008, a report released by AeA, a technology industry trade association, recently warns that since the US government does not issue enough visas to talented foreigners, a huge number of hi-tech jobs remain unfilled.

    The report said that the number of high-tech jobs in areas like semiconductors, software, computer design, Internet, etc are at below 2001 levels.

    American experts have been citing 20 steps that the United States should take to maintain its global lead. Check out what these are. . .

    What worsens the problem for the US is that American colleges do not seem to be churning out enough graduates capable of filling these vacancies, and thus a large numbers of these prime jobs are lost to other countries.

    As a proactive measure to keep America from losing out to emerging powers like India and China in the technology field, a US panel some time ago sounded a warning and suggested ways to maintain its dominant position in science and technology.

    India and China are fast emerging as the real hi-tech centres that can challenge the US hegemony in the field of technology.

    The reasons cited for the growth of India as a tech power are that it has sacrifice and talent, there’s a strong value of creativity, and there is direct/indirect help in financing technological activity and companies. Capital is available for technology, and there is awareness of the change in the global IT food chain.

    Experts say that these are some indicators that illustrate why US needs to take decisive action now:

    • For the cost of one chemist or one engineer in the United States, a company can hire about five chemists in China or 11 engineers in India.
    • Last year chemical companies shuttered 70 facilities in the United States and have tagged 40 more for closure. Of 120 chemical plants being built around the world with price tags of $1 billion or more, one is in the United States and 50 are in China.
    • US 12th-graders recently performed below the international average for 21 countries on a test of general knowledge in mathematics and science. In addition, an advanced mathematics assessment was administered to students in 15 other countries who were taking or had taken advanced math courses, and to US students who were taking or had taken pre-calculus, calculus, or Advanced Placement calculus. Eleven countries outperformed the United States, and four scored similarly. None scored significantly below the US.
    • In 1999, only 41 per cent of US eighth-graders had a math teacher who had majored in mathematics at the undergraduate or graduate level or studied the subject for teacher certification — a figure that was considerably lower than the international average of 71 per cent.
    • Last year more than 600,000 engineers graduated from institutions of higher education in China. In India, the figure was 350,000. In America, it was about 70,000.
    • In 2001 US industry spent more on tort litigation than on research and development.

    10,000 teachers, 10 million minds

  • Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education.
  • Among the recommended implementation steps is the creation of a merit-based scholarship program to attract 10,000 exceptional students to math and science teaching careers each year. Four-year scholarships, worth up to $20,000 annually, should be designed to help some of the nation’s top students obtain bachelor’s degrees in physical or life sciences, engineering, or mathematics — with concurrent certification as K-12 math and science teachers.