Sick of spending ten minutes every morning clearing your inbox of junk mail? Take comfort knowing you're doing it a lot less than last year. Symantec Intelligence reports that there were approximately 40 billion spam emails sent per day in June 2011, an 82.22 percent decline from the over 225 billion sent in July 2010. Symantec released this accompanying graph with their study, tracking the amount of Spam messages per day from July 2010-July 2011.
Cisco Systems studies also back up Symantec, having noticed a decline from 300 billion in June 2010 to just 40 billion in June 2011. In July 2010 those billions of spam messages were accounting for 90% of all email traffic. Now accounting for only 72.9% of all email.
Former Washington Post security reporter Brian Krebs attributes the decline to the arrest of several key hackers, and the high-profile takedowns of some of the Web's most notorious botnets.
"In the past year, authorities have taken down some of the biggest botnets and apprehended several top botmasters. Most recently, the FBI worked with dozens of ISPs to kneecap the Coreflood botnet. In April, Microsoft launched an apparently successful sneak attack against Rustock, a botnet once responsible for sending 40 percent of all junk email.
In December 2010, the FBI arrested a Russian accused of running the Mega-D botnet. In October 2010, authorities in the Netherlands arrested the alleged creator of the Bredolab botnet and dismantled huge chunks of the botnet. A month earlier, Spamit.com, one of the biggest spammer affiliate programs ever created, was shut down when its creator, Igor Gusev,was named the world’s number one spammer and went into hiding. In August 2010, researchers clobbered the Pushdo botnet, causing spam from that botnet to slow to a trickle."
While a Matrix 4 sounding plot has unraveled over the last year to take down some of the world's biggest spammers, Krebs reports that "the crooks behind these huge crime machines are fighting back — devising new approaches designed to resist even the most energetic takedown efforts." Like the devastating TDL-4 superbug which has already dismantled 4.5 million PCs using a peer-to-peer network that includes multiple failsafe mechanisms. Law enforcement take credit for takedowns that temporarily provide relief, but admit lasting takedowns can only be achieved by putting criminals behind bars.
How to you avoid spam and protect your computer against cyber attack?