12 Oct 2010

Spam levels drop in early October

The amount of spam circulating the internet dropped significantly during the first week of October, according to estimates from an internet security company.

Analysis revealed an especially notable drop in spam output on October 3. Internet security experts said this could be due to a dip in production from both the Cutwail and Rustock botnets, both considered major producers of spam. There was also a decline in production from other and unknown sources, experts said.

"This would happen if bots were reassigned to some other task, the bots were lost, or if demand from spammers simply wasn’t there," an internet security expert said.

The reduction of spam could also be attributed to the shutdown of Spamit, which experts say was a main player in the so-called Canadian Pharmacy scam. About 66 percent of spam is related to pharmaceutical products, with the Canadian Pharmacy scam accounting for much of it.

Security experts did warn that spam levels appeared to rise during October's second week. This may be partly caused by the spread of spam preying on customers of Apple's iTunes Store and LinkedIn users. Internet security companies said both scams appeared to originate from the same source.