back to article Spam volumes shrink over festive season

Spam volumes have witnessed a dramatic drop of more than 50 per cent since Christmas. Global junk mail volumes have reached their lowest level since the November 2008 shutdown of rogue ISP McColo, Symantec's net filtering business MessageLabs reports. MessageLabs attributes the drop to a production break from the Rustock, …

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Flame

Rustock, Lethic and … ???

Oh, sorry, I thought this was a story about Facebook.

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Spammers on holiday?

Or just lots of bot nets thinned out because of infected machines being switched off over the break with employees off for the holiday?

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bot net slim

You beat me to it - I was going to say exactly the same: the obvious reason is that the infected machines are not turned on.

Certainly from our own access stats over the holiday period, there has been a marked drop in traffic to a lot of our commercial sites, so it looks like people have not using the T'interweb as much this Christmas.

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MJI
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Dead Vulture

Or has there been more spammer disposal?

Well it worked in Russia.

Where the spammer ended up.

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Stop

not correct

This is not correct, most websites see a dramatic reduction of traffic over the festive period, being the worst day, the last day of the year.

Reduction in spam comes from the fact that computers on these botnets are off, people not at work, not using the computer at home so much...therefore the reduction in spam.

Best

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Anonymous Coward

Re: not correct

"Reduction in spam comes from the fact that computers on these botnets are off, people not at work, not using the computer at home so much...therefore the reduction in spam."

Which seem entirely reasonable, except if it was the main factor it would be affecting all the botnets to some extent, yet from the quoted article, "Other major botnets like Gheg and Cutwail seem to be unchanged at this time."

Which is odd.

Perhaps someone who knows more about their infection profiles can shed some light on whether these ones infect servers rather than client machines, or target countries that haven't been taking much holiday recently?

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It's possible

Russia and other Russian Orthodox countries celebrate Christmas tomorrow. Muslim countries celebrate Eid rather than Christmas. Many South East Asian countries celebrate Chinese New Year which is at the beginning of February.

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Maybe

They all got each other AVG for Christmas (and now their PCs are too slow to send any spam).

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe

they're all playing with their new Christmas netbook/tablet/smartphone that hasn't been infected yet.

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Gut feeling ...

The spammers are all heading to Lost Wages for the CES, just like all the rest of the marketards.

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Alert

My logs

Had noticed a precipitous drop in my spam logs as well. It's just my personal domain but connections halved on Dec 27 and dropped down to 2 or 3 a day from the 28th to the 3rd. Normally I see around 200 spam connections per day. It has slightly increased from the 4th but even so I only got 17 connections yesterday (but most of these are from a single IP).

I find these numbers odd. If it was due to work computers being switched off I would have noticed a drop from the 24th. And if it was people not using home PCs because they had too many other fun things to do why do my stats for the 25th show it as an average day?

To me it feels more like someone throwing a big giant switch than anything else.

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Bronze badge

Wrong

"Spam volumes have witnessed a dramatic drop of more than 50 per cent since Christmas."

Funny, the report I read said that spam volumes had dropped by over 50% between August and December.

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Boffin

not necessarily...

The graph I looked at shows an approximately 70% drop between August and Christmas and then a further (and steeper) 65% drop on Christmas day. So - both statements could be true.

These numbers should be treated with caution - they are estimated from the fairly low detail graphic and my booze addled brain and/or failing eyesight might have intervened.

(http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/spam-volume-drop-christmas-day)

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Flame

Botnets have more than one use

Would it be inflammatory of me to suggest that global spam levels have recently fallen as the botnets are busy DDoSing PayPal etc?

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Unhappy

late extra

I wonder if this is the start of the campaign ...

I have just received an opening, softening up, email saying that the (US) IRS will pay me $5010.11 as a "Home Equity Account holder". And advising me that the NEXT email will be asking for all my personal particulars. In the meantime send my name address and phone number to an email address xxxxx.xxxx@email.bg !

I hope the bit bucket doesn't get too full too quickly, cos the bin men still haven't caught up after their holidays!

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