Feeds

Botnet takedowns curb spam volumes

Spam almost cut in half between August and October

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Spam volumes almost halved in the three months between August and the end of October, according to Symantec.

Symantec’s hosted services unit (formerly MessageLabs) credits a 47 per cent sharp decrease in global spam volumes to action by the authorities against botnets and organised cybercrooks. In October, authorities in the Netherlands took down several servers associated with the Bredolab botnet. The action followed the September closure of spamit.com, a key player in the unlicensed pharmaceuticals spam racket, and arrests in the US, UK and Ukraine of scores of suspected members of a ZeuS phishing Trojan ring.

The net effect of these actions was a reduction of spam volumes to their lowest level since September 2009. Even with this progress almost nine in 10 email messages (86.6 per cent) are junk mail or worse, as explained in Symantec's report here (PDF).

A similar study by Kaspersky Lab, published on Wednesday, also reports a drop in spam volumes in Q3 2010 to around 82.3 per cent. It credits the disabling of control nodes for the Pushdo / Cutwail botnet (blamed for one in 10 junk mail messages worldwide) and the closure of Spamit.com for the decline in spam volumes. The Russian security firm warns. however, that ads touting penis pills are unlikely to shrivel up and die.

“The closure of one partner program — even a major one — will only result in a temporary decrease in the amount of advertisements for Viagra in our inboxes; the spammers aren’t about  to abandon such a lucrative business,” said Darya Gudkova, head of content analysis & research at Kaspersky Lab. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.