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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spam Took A Holiday But Did Anyone Notice?

Riva Richmond of the NYTimes Bits Blog declared yesterday that "Spam Is Back". It seems that a spam network of malware-infected personal computers known as Rustock, and believed to be linked to Russian based criminals, stopped sending spam on Christmas Eve. but resumed activities on January 9th at about 7:00 p.m. EST.

Symantec says that the activity is mostly of the pharmaceutical variety promoting an online service called Pharmacy Express. Monday, Rustock was estimated to have sent 19 billion messages representing about 28% of all spam on the internet.

The reason for the quiet Christmas break is a mystery but Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist for MessageLabs (Symantec) says  “My guess would simply be Christmas vacation,” and “Perhaps they went somewhere to spend some time on a beach and decided to shut things down for a while.”

I currently leave have 3 main e-mail addresses, 2 of which are gmail accounts and the 3rd I use very carefully. As a result, I rarely see any spam get through. Google does a great job of catching spam to it's gmail service and so I didn't notice any change in my inbox. You?