Drastic fall in global spam e-mail levels

January 7th, 2011 - 4:14 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 7 (ANI): The recent months have seen a drastic fall in the amount of junk e-mails being sent globally, with the reason for the decline not fully understood as yet, and spam watchers warning it may not last.

The steady drop in the number of spam e-mails was seen since August, with the Christmas period seeing a precipitous decline.

One security firm detected around 200 billion spam messages being sent each day in August, but just 50 billion in December.

Paul Wood, a senior analyst at Symantec Hosted Services, said around the Christmas holidays, three of the largest spam producers curtailed their activity.

“But it’s hard to say why,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

Networks of infected computers known as botnets send the vast majority of spam.

Wood explained one of the botnets, known as Rustock, was at its peak, responsible for 47 percent to 48 percent of all spam sent globally, but in December, it was responsible for just 0.5 percent of global spam.

Two other prominent spamming botnets, Lethic and Xarvester, also went quiet.

“Usually they have been associated with the botnets being disrupted. As far as we can tell Rustock is still intact,” he added.

The one possible explanation is that the spammers are simply regrouping ahead of a new campaign.

Spammers are driven entirely by profit, said Carl Leonard, a researcher at security firm Websense.

“So if a campaign is not getting the returns they want, they can stop, regroup and try something else,” he stated. (ANI)

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