Spam Rate Tumbles Like Never Before

There has been a mysterious drop in global spam levels during the first week of January this year, according to SoftScan, a managed e-mail provider. The firm accounts the incident for a major disabling of botnet service.

Spam level has gone down by 30%, reported SoftScan on January 9, 2007. There is a general feeling that the spam decline could be a result of a temporary disservice of a large botnet that might have lost its clients' control.

The company deducted the recent Taiwan quake that slowed the Internet across Asia and purchases of computers this Christmas as causes for the lowering in spam.

December 2006 had a very high rate of spam around 89.36% of all e-mail and still a high of 84.95% at their lowest level on December 21 2006, as per the company statistics. The estimates are based on SoftScan's analysis of a million users' e-mail systems. These users are mostly international businesses, said CTO Diego d'Ambra.

The spam drop was rather unusual because it had been steadily going in the upward direction and now all of a sudden this dramatic change occurred, said d'Ambra to Mathew Broersma, a reporter at Techworld. According to him the cause in the fluctuation was definitely a botnet since that is currently the single most source of spam creation.

The drop-off was not impromptu as it could have been in case an earthquake occurred and such an effort was not witnessed in any earlier post Christmas time.

The company believes such extreme fluctuations in spam are likely to encourage governments, to take a tough stand with anti-spam law enforcement, said d'Ambra. The company said 69% of viruses were responsible for phishing alone.

Virus levels, in December 2006, were at a low of 0.5% of all e-mail that the company scanned. However, they attribute it to the phenomenon of virus authors silently accessing systems rather than causing disruption.

SoftScan has declared the top-five families of viruses for December 2006: phishing was in the highest position at 69%; with Tibs next at 12.89%; Netsky, Stration, and Bagle being at 4.00%, 3.05%, and 2.56%, respectively.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

» SPAMfighter News - 16-01-2007

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