McAfee warns: No repeat of McColo shutdown

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McAfee warns: No repeat of McColo shutdown

Botnet herders have learned their lesson.

The anti-spam community is unlikely to have any future successes on the same scale of the McColo shutdown, as botnet herders have learned from their mistakes to make botnets harder to track and close, according to McAfee.

In the security giant's monthly spam report released today, technology lead Adam Wosotowsky and director of product marketing Elan Winkler argued that "McColo has taught botnet owners a lesson".

"As a result, botnet control centres have become more distributed, spanning many networks in many countries. The loss of a big hosting provider today would prove only a minor inconvenience – as opposed to a major defeat – for spammers," they wrote.

"We’re confident, however, that we’ll see more of these takedowns, as security researchers and research organisations continue to get involved; but we must expect the overall effect of shutdowns to be temporary."

The report also highlights how little effect the CAN-SPAM legislation has had in the US since its introduction six years ago with a stated intent of " Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing".

In the past six years, the US has routinely come top of charts listing spam-originating countries, and the percentage of unwanted emails has crept up towards 90 percent.

"While we complain about the lack of international support to combat this scourge, we overlook spammers who sit comfortably in the United States, sending out thousands of emails that blatantly disregard the law by keeping their message volumes just below the radar," the report said.

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