America can breathe a sigh of relief as it is no longer the world's number-one sender of spam email.
The Sophos Labs quarterly ‘Spampionship' league table is compiled via the company's spamtrap logs, which go out of their way to grab as many spam messages as possible and analyze where they were sent from.
Historically, the US has been the world leader in sending spam by volume but this quarter has been overtaken by China which, in the final quarter of 2014, was the origin of 16.7% of the world's spam email. The US still came a respectable second with an 11.2% share. The top three is rounded off by South Korea which produces 8.8% of the world's least wanted email.
As Sophos itself points out, a large volume of spam should be expected to originate from a country that has affordable broadband and a large population that own numerous computers. This is why the US has held on to the top spot for so long.
Which is also why China's ascendancy is a little surprising considering the nationwide internet filters it has in place.
When the figures are presented in terms of spam email sent as a proportion of a country's population then both China and the US disappear completely from the league table. Instead, it's South Korea that is in first place, closely followed by Hong Kong in second and Bulgaria in third place.
The real point of the quarterly league tables is to remind consumers that the majority of spam is sent from home computers that are infected with malware and so anyone not keeping their PC's software and anti-virus applications up to date could be adding to the problem.