Broken botnet cuts global spam by a third

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.

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News source: vnunet

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11 Comments

Funny you say that, I am seeing the same thing, as well as added spam from bots signing up to ebay which I never used to get...

Looking at my gmail spam listing, I see a reduction in spam.
By pages of 50 messages
Dec 9th-13th: 50 messages in 4 days
Dec 13th-17th: 50 messages in 4 days
Dec 17th-21st: 50 messages in 4 days
Dec 21st-27th: 50 messages in 6 days
Dec 27th-Jan 3rd: 50 messages in 7 days
Jan 3rd-10th (today): 50 messages in 7 days

I guess this is what they mean by "global". Not every individual user sees the reduction. Just overall around the world there is less.

At least on my mail server, I saw a sudden dramatic decrease in spam one day, then I read later on in the news about the asian quake. It got so low as to only having 200 spams a day get past the ip blocks(currently blocking about 91,000 ip addresses, that's ones I've typed in, not counting the rbl lists I use for further blocking).

The low numbers continued until about 2 days ago when its starting to gathering back steam(back up to 400 some odd).

Hopefully its not going to get back to like it was around christmas, where we got 1,700 a day.

I thought my spam had dropped down quite a bit. But I thought Gmail had just updated their means to fighting it. It's been more like a 60 percent drop for me, guess the right ones got hit.

Gmail accepts it, but puts it automatically in the "spam" folder. It was that folder I used to determine the incoming spam rate to my address.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but Gmail doesn't automatically "drop" incoming emails it thinks is spam, but just tucks it away (and purges that folder of contents that exceed a certain age point). So it should provide an accurate count of spam emails received on that account.

"SoftScan also suggested that a large number of users received new computers at Christmas to replace infected machines"

who buys a new pc because it has spyware on it?

There are people who find it more convenient to buy a new computer than to actually know how it works, what they are doing wrong, and how to keep it from getting infected.

I'm just amazed that there is still no way for an ISP of an obviously compromised machine to let the person or company know, "hey, you've lost control of your own machine, you're sending billions of spam, here's how to fix it."

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