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Botnet Dismantling Result in Huge Spam Decline in 2011, Reports Symantec

Symantec, by issuing its latest Internet Security Threat Report for 2011, shows how botnet dismantling has forced online spam down to levels as akin to those far back in 2006.

The mean global spam rate was 75.1% of the total electronic messages, much lower than 88.5% and 88% of 2010 and 2009 respectively, however, that's not the full story, says Symantec.

The levels, during 2011, were down to another impressive 42bn e-mails daily during 2011 in absolute terms compared to the 61.6bn figure of 2010, Symantec reports.

Over the years and across various security agencies, it maybe difficult to make comparisons, yet Symantec above all said that there were steady levels of spam at 31bn daily during 2005 and 61bn daily during 2006 with occasional fluctuations, till the decline occurred recently.

Moreover, by the time 2007 appeared, the major rise in spam was from botnets, substituting hijacked relays and servers, which during pre-2007 acted as the spam-spewing vehicles for several years in a predominant manner. From then on, spam has been associated with fighting botnets that during 2011 sent out 81% of the total e-mail junk. The main factor for spam decline was attributed to the dismantling of the Rustock network-of-bots during March 2011.

The new yearly report of Symantec further highlights that there are far greater online dangers from ideological and religion-based websites for every contaminated website compared to porn/adult sites.

This is presumably attributed to owners of porn sites, who aiming at exploiting the Internet for earning money, have a strong inclination for maintaining their websites clean off threats like malware.

Perceiving this to be an interesting point, Paul Roberts Editor of Threatpost website stated that porn-related websites were, since an extensive period, infamously known to be the Internet's shady regions. However, among the 10 most malicious websites, porn websites occupied only the last rank i.e. 10th, while medicine and health-related websites, and automotive-oriented websites respectively ranked 9th and 8th. Importantly, the highest ranking malicious websites -'religion-themed' sites- ranked 1st followed with 'own-supported' sites, 'commerce,' 'buying and selling,' and 'education' sites thereafter, Roberts enumerated. Threatpost.com published this dated April 30, 2012.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

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