Spam levels take a nose dive

2011-07-01

Helen Martin

Virus Bulletin, UK
Editor: Helen Martin

Abstract

Spamming losing its attraction for criminal operators?


Spam levels have seen a significant drop in recent months according to Symantec. The company reports that the volume of spam reached 90% of all email traffic last year, but has recently dropped to just 72.9%.

Several factors appear to have contributed to the decrease including the closure last autumn of Spamit, one of the largest fake pharmacy affiliate programs, and the takedown of the Rustock botnet (which at its peak was responsible for 47.5% of all spam). There has also been an 80% drop in the amount of spam sent by the Bagle botnet since March.

Overall, sending spam seems to have become less attractive for criminal operators. However, researchers have noted that at the same time as the drop in spam there has been an increase in DDoS attacks – suggesting that botnet owners may be looking for other ways in which to generate profit.

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