Spammers still reeling from McColo bust

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Spammers still reeling from McColo bust

Nearly two months after the bust of hosting firm McColo, spam numbers are still down.

According to reports from both McAfee and Symantec, spammers are still recovering from the closure of the hosting firm and working to bring junk mail levels back to the load recorded prior to the November bust.

Following the suspension of McColo's internet access, spam levels dropped by as much as 65 per cent. Most of this is thought to be due to the botnet command centers that were lost in the shutdown.

As spammers gathered themselves, the numbers began to rebound. With botnet numbers recovering, many experts predicted that the effects of the McColo shutdown would be short-lived.

Nearly two weeks into January, however, spam levels are still struggling to get back to their November levels. McAfee reported that spam levels are still down as much as 40 per cent from fall numbers, while Symantec estimates spam totals to be at 80 per cent of their pre-shutdown level.

Unfortunately for consumers, neither company sees the diminished spam levels lasting much longer. Both firms suggest that the ongoing economic hardships will create a larger target audience for spammers than ever before and help junk e-mail numbers to rise in 2009.

"Spammers have become smarter, quicker and more professional with their attacks and are leveraging what’s in the news more than ever to tailor their messaging," said McAfee Avert Labs senior vice president Jeff Green.

"With more people out of work or self employed going into 2009, beware of communication offering low-cost degrees and do-it-yourself kits as well as any requests for financial information from what looks like your bank, school or investment firm."
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