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Spam Volume Surged in H2 2009, Says M86 Report

Resealed in the third week of February 2010, 'M86 Security Labs Report' for H2 2009 (second quarter of 2009) informs that the level of spam messages touched 200 Billion per day. In the first quarter of 2009, malicious spam amounted to just 600 Million per day as compared to 3 Billion.

The M86 report also claims that 2009 can be seen as a year in which spam returned with retaliation. This can be attributed to the fall of the McColo network at the end of 2008 which led to substantial reduction in spam, continuing into H1 2009. However, as the report proves it did not take much time for the spam to get back to their pre-McColo levels.

The report also shows that the vast amount of spam is sent through botnets concealing on infected systems. Almost 78% of total spam generated in second half of 2009 is stimulated by such botnets.

This striking discovery compeled the report's author to state that the key spam botnets like Rustock and Pushdo (or Cutwail) have kept on dominating the spam production, backed by second-tier botnets like Mega-D, Lethic, Grum and Donbot. Spamming botnets are always in a state of instability - from becoming obsolete, being replaced, sometimes taken down or waxing & waning and morphing to being upgraded, as per the news published by threatpost.com on February 16, 2010.

Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the important contributor, viz. botnets, to the pam volume so that the industry can take some effective step against them, like the botnet hijacks that have already taken place.

In the report, M86 states that pharma-related messages were the most popular ones, estimating for almost 74% of total messages. The second place is acquired by the product-related spam like fake watches and other designer goods with 16% of all messages, followed by all other categories at under 4%.

Finally, according to the report, spam continued to be a major danger for govt. firms and businesses in the second half of 2009. The authors of the report opined that not only spam damage precious network resources, it also serve as an efficient medium for hackers for launching other cybercrimes.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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