The European Commission has urged its member states to beef up their efforts to cut spam, spyware and malicious software, after research showed that up to 85 percent of all e-mail received in the European Union is unsolicited.

Research from such organizations as Spamhaus indicates that four-fifths of all spam can be traced to 200 criminal gangs operating internationally. The U.S. remains the single biggest source of spam, accounting for 22 percent of all spam received in the EU, the Commission said. China is the second largest source, accounting for 13 percent. France and South Korea rank joint third at 6 percent.