New email monitoring data has revealed a "sudden" 30 per cent reduction in global spam volumes over the past week. Security firm SoftScan believes that the drop is most likely to be the result of a major botnet temporarily losing control of its clients. Another theory is that the reduction in spam might be attributed to the recent earthquake in Asia, preventing spamming activity from this region. However, this is considered to be less likely as the drop in spam distribution was not instant.
SoftScan also suggested that a large number of users received new computers at Christmas to replace infected machines, but since this trend has not been seen in previous years, it too seems unlikely. Spam levels for December remained very high at 89.36 per cent of all email and even at their lowest point on 21 December the level was still 84.95 per cent.