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19 Feb, 2008 03:14

Russia named ‘spam superpower’

For the second time in a week, Russia has been named as a growing centre of crime-linked software. The Australian security company PC Tools says Russia is the top producer of viruses, trojans and spyware, just ahead of China.

Russia is also number two in generating unsolicited email (spam) behind the United States, according to antivirus firm Sophos.

Hackers take over unprotected computers using them to fire off advertisement mails for everything from drugs to share manipulation schemes. Experts say that tougher laws are needed, but even these would not end the problem.

“To stop it legally – I don’t think it’s possible. Of course, the government should take steps in this direction and should adopt legislation to prevent the distribution of spam. But it’s not just a legal issue, it’s a technical issue. I believe that the combination of technical measures, technical protection from spam and legal activity of the government can reduce the problem, but not eliminate it totally,” said Evgeny Buyakin, Chief Operating Officer of Kaspersky Lab.

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab has become a leader in anti-virus protection as more people seek protection from cyber attacks.

“The market is really interesting. On one hand it is a very mature market and many players have appeared. But it is still very dynamic. It's still growing very fast and we think that the situation in the market in the next five years will change significantly. We believe that our company has quite good chances to become one of the leading players worldwide in the market in general,” Buyakin said.

In many countries Kaspersky ranks among the top three in the retail segment. Its market share has reached five per cent in Europe and in countries like Germany and Austria, Kaspersky controls as much as 40 per cent of the market.

It is expected to report revenues of more than $US 200 million for last year and hopes to reach one billion by the end of the decade.