According to security firm, Symantec, the global number of spam e-mails have dropped by almost half since August this year. The fall, of around 47% in three months, is said to be due to the arrests of hackers behind several spam-sending botnets, and intelligence that has seen several spamming systems closed down globally. This recent success against hi-tech spammers has been attributed to the implementation of more effective measures and international corporation in tackling suspected botnets, through which the vast majority of junk e-mails are sent.
Whilst many botnets were shut down, one of the most significant botnets takedowns was the Pushdo or Cutwail botnet which is believed to have been sending about 10% of global spam since 2007. Once traced, the Pushdo servers were turned off in an international operation co-ordinated by LastLine – a security firm- which rendered the large number of hijacked machines useless. Other botnets which were shut down include Bredolab, whose activities were believed to involve around 30 million computers, capable of sending 3.6 billion e-mails per day. It’s discovery led to the closure of 143 associated servers.
Are computer security firms fighting a lost cause against spammers seeing that millions of machines around the globe are continuously being turned into spam-sending botnets?