Spam drops worldwide after plug pulled on US server provider

November 15th, 2008 - 6:57 am ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, Nov 15 (DPA) The volume of spam on the Internet plunged by about two thirds this week after two US internet service providers cut the internet connections of a company that was using its servers to disseminate billions of unwanted email messages, internet security firms said Friday.Symantec said the number of spam messages had fallen by some 120 billion per day, to around 60 billion. However it warned that many of the spam spewers would probably find new routes to distribute their messages and that the respite was likely only temporary.

Nevertheless the success was greeted as a sign of the validity of the new anti-spam approach that traced the messages back to a Silicon Valley company called McColo, which rents out servers to clients. After researchers identified the company they also contacted its two major internet access providers, Hurricane Electric and Global Crossing, which promptly cut its internet connection.

The report identifying McColo was published anonymously by the ad-hoc team of researchers who said that among other things, McColo reportedly enabled its customers to control vast networks of hijacked computers to send spam and take payments for fake anti-virus software. McColo at one time hosted up to 40 Web sites with child pornography, the report said.

“We got the report, and it looked pretty damning,” said Benny Ng, director of infrastructure at Hurricane Electric, of Fremont, California. “They were a client of ours, and we turned them off.”

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