Almost Half Of All IP Addresses Sending Spam Tied To Just 20 ISPs

Over recent years online criminal activity has become increasingly sophisticated. Virus writers have moved out of their bedrooms and joined hardcore criminal gangs, hackers have moved on from defacements (largely) and onto exploiting legitimate sites from which to lure their victims. But some things haven’t changed much and thats the dark corners of the net, so-called bad neighbourhoods.


Most of you know by now that there are dangers, beyond the legal implications, inherent in downloading pirated material. You also know that porn sites come with certain risks. But, even so, there are still some quarters of the net carrying on business as usual. And they are the areas responsible for sending out spam and initiating phishing attacks.

According to the University of Twente a survey of 42,000 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) revealed that just 20 of them were responsible for close to half of the internet addresses that send spam –

“…malicious activity is indeed concentrated in limited zones: areas in which the IP addresses show strong similarities, per ISP, or even per country. For instance, this PhD researcher found that 62% of the addresses at one ISP were related to spam. This knowledge can be used to link security measures to specific ISPs.”
University of Twente

Also of interest is the fact that malicious activity seems to vary within different regions of the world – the more developed countries, such as the US, are more likely to be home to phishing attacks whilst spam can often be closely linked to less developed areas such as southern Asia. And, of course, lets not forget those 419 scams which can often be tied to African nations.

You can learn more from Giovane Moura’s thesis upon request via the university.

photo: urban_data

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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