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China joins global effort to can spam

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The Beijing government has joined the effort to fight spam by adopting the London Action Plan on International Spam Enforcement Collaboration, it emerged yesterday.

Following months of discussions, the Chinese government has finally agreed to sign up to the plan which aims to encourage greater co-operation between countries in analysing spam campaigns, investigating their origin, and encouraging ISPs around the world to take appropriate measures to defend innocent users.

The move was welcomed as a step towards stemming the steadily growing volume of junk mail.

IT security firm Sophos reported in April that almost 10 per cent of spam originated from computers based in China. Much of this is being sent out through compromised computers, known as zombies, under the control of remote hackers without the knowledge of their owners.

"It is great news to hear that China will be joining international efforts to fight spam," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"After the US and South Korea, China is one of the biggest producers of spam in the world, and greater global co-operation in tackling the scourge has to be welcomed.

"However, computer users need to be aware that the fight is not over, and that they are unlikely to see the amount of spam dry up overnight.

Cluley added that, even if the authorities crack down hard on those using Chinese computers to sell spam-marketed goods, spammers are likely to turn to other countries to flog their wares.


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