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Worldwide Spam Volumes Drop One-Third Following Rustock’s Shutdown

A new analysis by Symantec the IT security company discloses that during March 2011, when Rustock was still running active before its shutdown, the botnet sent a huge 13.82bn spam mails each day, contributing a mean of 28.5% junk e-mails in the total e-mail junk dispatched from worldwide bot networks during March 2011.

States MessageLabs Intelligence, worldwide spam levels dropped 33.6% during March 15-17, 2011 after the Rustock botnet was legally disassembled. Moreover, after the shutdown, junk e-mails accounted for about 33bn messages daily in contrast to a mean of 52bn messages daily over the preceding 3rd-week of March 2011.

In general, there wasn't too much of a drop in spam levels since other botnets dispatched an increased amount of spam to compensate for the shortfall from Rustock. Global botnets sent approximately 83% of the total spam during March 2011, a 6% rise since 2010 end when bot networks were responsible for 77%, security investigators at Symantec discovered.

Additionally, during 2010, Rustock had been dispatching a maximum of 44.1bn junk e-mails daily, accounting for a high 47.5% of the total spam. But when Rustock stopped distributing e-mail junk, nobody except the bot herders themselves knew the reason. However, all could perceive the impacts that ensued pretty clearly i.e. the spam volume dropped remarkably as also immediately, indicating that Rustock wasn't any longer dispatching junk e-mails and that the long standing network had gone into a self-imposed banishment alternatively been shutdown, stated Symantec within its report.

Notably, it was way back in January 2006 that Rustock started its operation, sending the maximum amount of spam and over the longest period compared to the botnets of the present time, according to Paul Wood, Senior Analyst at MessageLabs. EWeek.com reported this on March 29, 2011.

Furthermore, Rustock mostly sent pharmaceutical spam; however, after Rustock's takedown, it's the Bagle botnet that's closing the pharma spam deficit, dispatching 8.31bn junk e-mails per day. Importantly, according to the 2010 Annual Security Report by MessageLabs Intelligence, Bagle didn't make it to the List of Top 10 spam botnets when 2010 ended. EWeek.com reported this on March 29, 2011.

Related article: World Find New Weapons of Mass Destruction - eWMD

» SPAMfighter News - 4/8/2011

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