Global drop in spam email is 'short lived'

Posted in: Spam at 11/01/2011 16:52

A recently observed global decline in spam e-mail could prove to be short lived, researchers say.

A network of infected computers used to produce spam has sprung back to life after a lull of several weeks.

The Rustock botnet - as it is known - mysteriously stopped sending spam e-mails in early December, resulting in a massive decline in spam.

But according to security firm NetWitness, it restarted activity early on 10 January.

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Spam Is Back
A holiday hiatus for spammers appears to be over.

Rustock, a network of malware-infected personal computers that is the world's No. 1 source of spam and is believed to be controlled by Russian cybercriminals, stopped sending spam on Christmas Eve, causing global spam levels to plummet. No one really knew why.

Email spam level bounces back after record low
A dramatic fall in the levels of emails advertising Viagra products and herbal medicines has caused a precipitous drop in global spam levels - but today the unsolicited messages showed the first signs of a huge comeback.

Pharmaceutical promotions usually account for around 64% of all email spam globally - around 60bn messages a day. This fell to as low as 0.1% over the Christmas period, accounting for a comparatively tiny 70m emails. "It's a drop in the ocean compared [to previous spam levels]," said Paul Wood, a senior analyst at cyber security firm Symantec.

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