Hong Kong takes title of most spammed country

Spam accounts for 79.6 percent of all e-mail messages for residents in Hong Kong.

Spam levels in Hong Kong experienced the largest increase -- by 13.2 percent, reaching 79.6 percent of all e-mails, according to a Web security research conducted in Q3 2008.

The results were announced in MessageLabs' Intelligence Report for September 2008 by MessageLabs, an enterprise messaging and Web security services provider. According to the report, the next most spammed countries are France (75.9 percent), Austria (75.8 percent), China (75.2 percent), and United Arab Emirates (73.2 percent).

The manufacturing sector suffers the most spammed e-mail accounts at 78.7 percent, according to the report, followed by marketing and media industries (77.1 percent), recreation sector (76.4 percent), IT services (75.4 percent), and non-profit organizations (75.2 percent).

"Hong Kong usually sits in the top three of the most spammed countries," said Mark Sunner, chief security analyst of MessageLabs. "Hong Kong is an international financial and commercial hub of global importance, with a high proportion of western and other foreign businesses. As a result of this, the Internet-borne security threats confronting organizations based in Hong Kong increasingly mirror those faced across the globe, in terms of both scale and nature."

"Though Hong Kong spam rate dropped in August, local-language spam accounted for seven percent of spam subjects heading specifically for Hong Kong", said Sunner.

Last month, analysis of MessageLabs URL Filtering service shows an increasing number of businesses are blocking employee access to inappropriate Web sites, such as pornography, during the working day -- 85 percent of adult and explicit category Web blocks were recorded. Most policy rules are set by organizations to block this content between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Further analysis reveals that 28.9 percent of blocks occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., which is usually lunchtime for most employees.

"Adult and sexually explicit Web content accounted for 1.7 percent of all Web-based content blocked in September," said Sunner. "This is a sign that organizations have caught on to the dangers of the Web and are doing their part to deploy services that will protect their business from Web threats while also maintaining employee productivity and maintaining acceptable use policies."

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