Daily updates of the independent spam-tracking organisation, The Spamhaus Project, are like a “Who’s Who?” in world economy and industrial power.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Japan. Yes, they are all there. Except Australia.
How Australia has been able to elude the Top 10 list is not due to its relatively smaller population size. Population does not have anything to do with a country being a spam haven. The world’s second populous country, India, with 1.17 billion people next only to China’s 1.33 billion people is also not in the Top 10.
It is spam laws and their enforcement which matter.
According to Spamhaus,
… some countries do little to deter spammers from operating within their borders. These countries become safe havens for the spam operations that plague everyone else, including their own nationals.
Countries with the highest number of spammers operating within their networks are usually those with poor or non-existent spam laws.
It must be to the credit of the Australian Government through the Australian Communications and Media Authority that Australia has so far eluded the Top 10 worst list. We have been regularly following Spamhaus’ updates for the last 18 months or so, and to date we have not seen a report where Australia was ever mentioned in the Top 10.
10 Worst Spam Service ISPs
But that is in the Top 10 Worst Spam Origin Countries report. Spamhaus has two other reports, the 10 Worst Spam Service ISPs, and 10 Worst ROKSO Spammers.
On the ISPs list, Spamhaus reported: “Although all networks claim to be anti-spam, some network executives factor revenue made from hosting known spam gangs into corporate policy decisions to continue to sell services to spam operations. Others simply decide that closing the holes in their end-user broadband systems that allow spammers access would be too costly to their bottom lines.”
The latest Spamhaus ISPs report did not identify any ISP based in Australia.
10 Worst ROKSO Spammers
On a per-country and per-ISP network basis, Australia is not on the top 10. But it is home to the world’s #6 worst spammer, Nikhil Kumar Pragji who is reported to be operating from South Brisbane, Queensland. Nikhil is also known to be the author of the Dark-Mailer spamware.
According to Spamhaus,
Through the Dark-Mailer Windows based proxy-botnet based spamware, this spammer is responsible for and behind a large portion of the world’s illegally sent spam.
One of the kingpins of the illegal spamming underworld. With his “Dark Mailer” spamware and endless amounts of “bulletproof” spam hosting in China and around the globe, he’s one of the cogs that allow other spammers and spam gangs to operate.
All this out of Australia, a nation that has made almost everything Nikhil Kumar Pragji does illegal under law.
What can the ACMA do about Nikhil Kumar Pragji or his Dark-Mailer software?
I do not know for sure.
When spam fraudster Robert Alan Soloway was indicted in Seattle in June 2007 for mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering, it was found that Soloway was using and reselling Dark Mailer, a portal to networks of compromised computers used to relay billions of spam e-mails a day.
With that indictment, experts have also been quoted as saying that bot-net administrators are using a layer of servers known as “invisible servers” to take on the actual workload of sending out spams orders.
“It’s much tougher to find that back-office computer. ISPs can sometimes help us to discover them by tracking where traffic is going,” experts said.
But the question is: Will ISPs provide assistance and give up the proverbial “goose that lays the golden egg”?
When it is the bottom line that counts, ISPs network executive would probably think twice before spilling out the beans. In an earlier report, we noted that the Spamhaus’ worst ISPs report is the most active of the three regular tracking reports. ISPs come and go in the Top 10 Worst Spam Service ISPs – some deciding to follow the law, and some jostling each other out for spam business and in the process get in to the Top 10 list.
How do you know if you are using the services of an ISP that has been compromised? Or have been blacklisted by Spamhaus?
We hope to cover that subject in our future posts. Meanwhile, you may wish to leave me a message or perhaps share this post with friends.