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Spam Surge to 80% After Hitting to the Lowest in November 2008

According to security researchers at Symantec, the decline in global spam following the closure of McColo, which hosted malicious websites, was merely 50%. And now, the level of botnet activity and unwanted e-mails are hugely back as of the 3rd week of December 2008 at the rate of 80% over the pre-shutdown, say the researchers, as reported by eWEEKSECURITYWATCH on December 22, 2008.

When the shady McColo was shut down in early November 2008, some experts found that the global spam fell as good as 75% because several dominant spam-spewing botnets had to halt their operations.

However, making slow increments, the percentage growth of spam has again risen since the lowest on November 23, 2008, when spam were just 25% of the entire e-mails. Researchers account this revival to the success of botnet builders in getting their activities back to operation.

Symantec states that botnet herders are bringing back old botnets online as well as creating new ones. And with the holidays are on, spammers are once again returning to their themes of discount consumer items, touting pharmaceuticals, knock-off watches and software.

The security company also says that the leading spam items observed during the 3rd week of December 2008 were Generic pharmacy, Replica watches, Erectile dysfunction and Weight-loss drugs and Software.

In addition, spam levels spiked sharply in February 2008, reaching a peak of 82.7% of the total e-mails, while averaging at 81.7% of the total annual e-mail for 2008. Further, the number of fresh websites hosting malicious programs each day in November 2008 peaked to 5,424 sites, said MessageLabs, recently taken over by Symantec. Web-based malware attacks became much more popular and e-mail-based attacks increased 15% over 2007. Also, in 2008, malicious e-mails accounted for 0.70% compared to 0.085% in 2007.

Moreover, 2008 has proved an important year for all players in internet security industry as there has been rise of new threats and evolution of old ones. Internet has become more sophisticated while its users more web-savvy.

Further, according to Ipswitch, a security firm, during Q4 2008, when stock markets were plummeting, new surge of spam and online frauds experienced.

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ยป SPAMfighter News - 12/30/2008

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