Feeds

Botnet takedowns curb spam volumes

Spam almost cut in half between August and October

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.