Feeds

Botnet takedowns curb spam volumes

Spam almost cut in half between August and October

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.