Spam volumes double as Rustock botnet wakes
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Spam volumes have returned to normal following a holiday lull that saw a drastic reduction of junk mail.
The Rustock botnet is out of hibernation and back in business, spewing copious volumes of useless junk mail courtesy of hundreds of thousands of compromised Windows machines.
Rustock (which specialises in spamvertising unlicensed pharmaceutical websites) is the biggest single source of global spam. Its return on 10 January resulted in the doubling (98 per cent increase) of global junk mail volumes over the course of just 24 hours, MessageLabs reports.
Other botnets have also returned to business following the end of the festive season. For example, the Xarvester botnet has also returned, following a blitz on its command and control servers.
Websense reports much the same dramatic surge on global spam volumes over the same time period between Sunday and Monday, as its chart here illustrates.
MessageLabs and other security watchers remain in the dark over the cause of the Xmas spam "armistice". This isn't a seasonal variation seen in previous years, but something new and thus far unexplained.
One popular theory is that the botmaster controlling spam-spewing machines simply took a break and cracked open the vodka, but there's no real evidence for this.
Nine in 10 of all email messages circulating on the net are spam. ®
Surely the armistice would suggest 'works' machines are a massive part of it? People taking holidays simply turned them off over christmas? Afterall many a company laughs at IT spending and even more at anti virus software (slows things down)
Or is that too obvious a guess
let's do bugger all about those that write, distribute knowingly or use the malware for their own or others illicit gain.
no, let's not stop there, let's ban victims of anything.
why there's spam
When a kitchen's dirty, it gets cockroaches. That's not the cockroaches' fault, it's the fault of the lazy slob providing the habitat. We have spam because the vast majority of Internet companies are doing as little as they can get away with to keep spammers from using their equipment.
If Google's so smart, why can't they search out all those dropbox accounts? I see their domain in spam Reply-To more than any other! They could kill those things fast enough to chase the crooks back to Hotmail, but they can't be bothered.
Try reporting your spam for a while, and you'll notice that the vast majority of domains don't have a working abuse address. They may define it, but they don't bother to except it from content analysis, so "test" one-liners get through but spam reports containing samples don't.
Try reporting Yahoo.com dropboxes, you'll discover abuse@yahoo now requires a format which no known software generates.
If these companies were serious about stopping spam, spam would stop.