Feeds

Spam volumes shrink over festive season

Even miscreants like to make merry

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New twist as rogue antivirus enters death throes
That's not the website you're looking for
ISIS terror fanatics invade Diaspora after Twitter blockade
Nothing we can do to stop them, says decentralized network
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.