back to article Pitcairn Island relays most spam per person

Pitcairn Island, the final South Sea island refuge of the Bounty mutineers, relays more spam per capita than any other nation. But with an estimated population of 48, perhaps it's not that surprising. Small localities including Tokelau, The Faroe Islands, and The Falkland Islands also witnessed a disproportionate amount of …


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  1. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    The press release ( is titled "Pitcairn Islands relays most spam per person, reveals Sophos" and includes the following statement...

    "Just because your PC is located on a remote island in the South Pacific doesn't mean it's not contributing to the global spam problem."

    If Sophos don't realise that these servers are nothing to do with the people of Pitcairn, then they are "technically ill-qualified" to comment on IT matters. If they do know that, then they are just slandering a small community in order to draw attention to themselves, and "morally ill-suited" to comment on anything. Take your pick.

  2. Geoff Johnson


    They used to be top of the SETI@Home work units per person league too.

    Not looked recently though.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Steve Foster


    Isn't it about time the producers of these reports actually came out and said which hosts these spam messages came from?

    Sending the data on an IP block basis to the block owners (as listed in RIPE, ARIN, etc.) with notification that the information would be made public if the volume hadn't decreased by the next time the reports were prepared might be enough to persuade responsible ISPs to make some effort to clean house.

  5. Karl Lattimer

    I wonder...

    why google, yahoo and hotmail... ok so maybe not hotmail, but certainly google and yahoo don't use spamassassin on email going OUT as well as email coming in!

    That'll kill off most of that webmail based spam I recon

  6. Len Goddard


    In the same order, population (2007) is:











    So a couple of zombie machines in each domain, divided by the population, basically explains this table (except for the Faroes, which apparently only had one zombie).

  7. Mike

    Estimated population of 48

    Why only estimated?

    Surely a population of 48 could be verified? Or do they move around too quickly on the island to be able to count them all?

    "Excuse me, oh mighty spam proliferating nation: could you please all stand still for 5 minutes so we can do a head count..."

    Mine's the one on peg number 49, as I'm only here on a day-trip

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad TLD management

    Don't forget that many (most?) of these entities have outsourced management of their TLD to domain-sharks, some with a shady past (and present) with regards to spam.

  9. Spleen

    Re: Ken Hagan

    Given that Pitcairn Island is mainly known for its former toleration of sexual abuse of young girls, I would imagine that they'd jump at the chance to be known as spam capital of the world instead.

  10. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Mike

    Mike asked: "... do they move around too quickly on the island to be able to count them all?"

    Nah, mate - they're too busy shagging their kids. See inter alia:

  11. Morely Dotes

    Blogspot heavily used too

    19 of the last 20 spams here have been advertising a landing page on, which is clearly bot-created.

    It's so bad that I have instituted a SpamAssassin rule to trash any email containing the string ""

    Obviously, the spammers are using the same the bots to generate new landing pages on while the operators of have done nothing to make that more difficult.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Either you don't know the difference between a joke alert and.... oh, screw it.

  13. Andy Enderby

    Appropriate action ?

    Whilst these open relay servers may not be under direct control of the locals, they are definitely someones responsibilty. So in the meantime cut the *****s off from the internet at large until the miscreant responsible shows their miserable face.

    .....Then execute the b*st*rds.

  14. heystoopid

    A pity

    A pity since they don't sort by server origin specific because the last time I checked the bulk of the feeding tubes were US based still , but as time goes on the rest of the world is starting to shift outside that sphere of influence and the changes in the past five years have been very dramatic indeed !

  15. EJ

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics

    Sophos must have stumbled this tidbit:

    If ever there was a meaningless measurement, Sophos found it.

  16. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Surely a better measurement

    Would be not per capita but per computer user or per broadband connection!

    I kinda doubt that Toklau or Nuie are really king pin nations of spam...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm sorry...

    But that was a really stupid and useless display of statistical over analysis. I mean if they're going to play that game, why not correlate the number of people with 4 toes on each foot vs. the number of spam that comes out of the ISP's they're being served by, for a more realistic representation?

    Maybe the number of people with one buttock or Paris Hilton?

    Based on the same logic behind those calculations, 30 people world wide and Ms. Hilton are statistically the largest contributors to the spam problem.

  18. Steve Roper

    @Andy Enderby

    Ah, great minds think alike! I've posted both here and in other forums several times now that until we start PUBLICLY EXECUTING the bottom-feeding filth behind this activity, the problem is only going to get worse, until the Internet simply becomes unusable and a great opportunity for humanity to achieve its full potential irretrievably lost. The extraordinary rendition and public hanging of a botnet herder broadcast worldwide live on CNN and pasted all over the likes of YouTube will send a strong message to these criminals that their attacks on humanity's greatest asset will not be tolerated, and that no matter where you live, you won't escape.

    Perhaps if our pollies and courts are too gutless maybe some kind vigilante-hacker groups might like to carry the banner!


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hooray for automated mass mailing

    We are currently installing a large ERP system (SAP)

    One of the consultants was going through the CRM activities and pointed out one of the really great features - you can set up automated mass mailing to send out marketing information.

    At this point I made the comment "not on my system!" and we then had a major discussion on why it wasn't really spam, but actually a really useful marketing tool that has nothing to do with spam whatsover.

    During the discussion the CEO said that he felt that targeted emails would be fine as people wouldn't mind getting those; but in the next breath said that he hated getting all the junk mail that he receives at home because his kids have signed up to all sorts of dodgy web sites...

    The decision was made that marketing are actually going to use this feature - I pointed out that if the get it wrong, we will then have a lot of people blocking our email addresses. The conversation then moved on to how we would be able to change the outgoing address to use a different one so that the recipients don't block our real address!!!!

    Can we have an "Alice through the looking glass" icon please?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Targeted trojans...


    One particular attack last month involved up to 900 targeted Trojans, primarily directed towards senior business executives worldwide, that made use of multiple attack vectors including drive by downloads from compromised websites. These attacks are often based on prior intelligence gathered about their targets, MessageLabs notes


    Prior intelligence, gathered by whom and how? I wonder.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What a relief!

    So the spam problem can be solved by nuking a few remote, guano-spattered rocks, rather than the expensive and embarrassing alternative of stopping bloated corporate monopolies forcing overpriced, buggy and insecure operating systems onto the computers of people who are mostly too stupid to own computers in the first place.

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