Spam levels dropped at Christmas

Darren Allan

January 6, 2011

Global spam levels have plummeted over the last couple of weeks, according to one security firm.

Symantec has been keeping a close watch on spam levels, which dropped like turkeys over the Christmas period.

In fact, Symantec reckons there were 200 billion spam messages flying around in August of last year, which steadily dropped to around 75 billion at the start of December.

Then on Christmas day, those spam levels more than halved to around 30 billion, and they’ve pretty much flatlined at that level since then.

So what’s the cause for the big spam freeze? Symantec MessageLabs reports that there has been a huge reduction in the activity levels of the Rustock botnet, and two other botnets, Lethic and Xarvester, went quiet on December 28th and New Year’s Eve respectively.

Why have these botnets seemingly vanished? That’s a mystery… MessageLabs writes: “At present we don’t know why these botnets have stopped spamming, perhaps the botnet herders have decided they need a holiday too?”

However, it isn’t anticipated that this unexpected Christmas present will last for long, and levels will likely pick up again soon.


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