November Threat Report Showed a Drop in Spam

Sue Marquette Poremba
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Tackling Outbound Spam

Far too many Internet service providers are relying on anti-spam software that was primarily designed to fight inbound, rather than outbound, spam.

An increase in spam was one of the threat predictions for 2011, but as November came to a close, we may have had a small (perhaps temporary) reprieve from spam.


In its November 2010 Threat Landscape Report, Fortinet saw a 12 percent reduction in global spam after the Dutch dismantled a large Bredolab network by taking more than 140 servers offline. According to Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research at Fortinet:

Bredolab was often used to load spam engines, which are typically used to sell fraudulent pharmaceuticals. After the network was dismantled, the spam levels decreased significantly.

In addition, Manky also reported that the Koobface botnet, which spams social media sites, was also taken offline in mid-November, but the drop in Koobface spam was short-lived, as it was discovered that communication between the botnet and servers was restored days later.


Although the 2011 threat prediction foresees an increase in specifically targeted spam, perhaps we're seeing a trend toward a decrease in generic spam. The Fortinet report follows on the October report from Kaspersky Lab that also saw a decrease in spam traffic. The report stated:

Recently, there have been major changes among the top 20 sources of spam: in September India took over top spot from long-term leader the USA, and the changes continued in October with Russia unexpectedly claiming first place having distributed 11.3% of all spam. For the first time in a long time, the USA dropped out of the top 10 altogether finishing the month in 18th place. India (8.5%), Ukraine (5.6%), the UK (4.7%) and Brazil (4.5%) were the other leading sources in October.

Interestingly enough, the Kaspersky report also mentions that a decrease in spam originating from the USA was due in part to the closure of a Bredolab command center.




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