Spam Wakes Up From Holiday Slumber
The volume of spam took took a serious dip in time for Christmas, but as predicted, the holiday break didn't last long, and inboxes around the world can attest to that.
Global spam levels inexplicably fell from more than 200 billion a day in August to less than 30 billion on Christmas day, their lowest point of the year, and remained low through Jan. 9.
Then in less than one day, it all went frustratingly back to normal. Between midnight on Jan. 9 and 10:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, spam levels nearly doubled from the same period 24 hours earlier, according to Marissa Vicario of the security firm Symantec. The increase in spam e-mails came to 98 percent, Vicario said.
What's behind the sudden spam resurgence? Cybersecurity analysts believe it's Rustock, the most dominant spam botnet of 2010 according to a Symantec report. Rustock's network of zombie computers programmed to distribute mass amounts of spam appears to have awoken from its holiday slumber, which doesn't bode well for those who'd gotten used to having uncluttered inboxes.
Symantec researchers have noticed a slew of pharmaceutical spam coming from Rustock since Jan. 10.
While levels of Rustock output appears marginally lower than before Christmas, we see no reason they won't reach those previous levels again, bringing global spam levels back up to the approximately 90 percent levels we had become so used to, Viacario said in a Symantec blog post.
The Waledac botnet is also up and running, refreshed after a holiday break and ready to sell Cialis and Viagra, the security research firm WebSense reported.
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