The US is still the country most likely to relay spam emails, but the UK is gaining fast, according to the latest figures from Sophos.
The security firm said that the UK had shot up from ninth to fourth position on the list.
The proportion of spam sent by the US has increased by just over two per cent in the last quarter alone, and now stands at roughly 15 per cent.
The UK, which has not always been on the list, is responsible for about 4.5 per cent of all relayed spam. The gain is indicative of the increases seen across Europe, which has not traditionally been a spam hotspot.
"It's sad to see spam relayed via compromised European computers on the rise. The UK, France, Italy and Poland have all crept up the rankings since the start of the year," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post.
Cluley explained that, for all the efforts of spammers, their success or failure is determined by the actions of individual end users.
"It's an uphill struggle educating users about the dangers of clicking on links or attachments in spam mails, and that their computers may already be under the control of cyber criminals," he said.
"Businesses and computer users must take a more proactive approach to spam filtering and IT security in order to avoid adding to this global problem."
Spam accounts for 97 per cent of all email received by businesses, according to Sophos.
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