Feeds

Spam volumes shrink over festive season

Even miscreants like to make merry

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Spam volumes have witnessed a dramatic drop of more than 50 per cent since Christmas.

Global junk mail volumes have reached their lowest level since the November 2008 shutdown of rogue ISP McColo, Symantec's net filtering business MessageLabs reports.

MessageLabs attributes the drop to a production break from the Rustock, Lethic and Xarvester botnets. Rustock has all but shut down while the fiendish hackers behind the Lethic and Xarvester have also gone quiet.

By contrast, two other significant sources of spam - Gheg and Cutwail - are pumping out junk mail at much the same volumes as ever, as a graph from MessageLabs explains.

MessageLabs reckons the drop is unlikely to be anything more than a temporary respite from the (almost) relentless torrent of nuisance email messages touting penis pills, "investment opportunities", smut and other assorted tat.

Mathew Nisbet, a malware data analyst at MessageLabs Symantec, writes: "At present we don't know why these botnets have stopped spamming, perhaps the botnet herders have decided they need a holiday too?

"Whilst this is an excellent gift over the holiday season for anyone who regularly uses email, we would not expect the level of spam to stay this low for long." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.