Spam falls to an annual low
Following the privately-initiated take-down of hosting company McColo, as covered in the Washington Post, the operators of the remaining botnets demonstrated the destructive power they still had at their disposal by performing multiple distributed-denial-of-service-attacks against German ISP InterNetX and other German websites last weekend.
The temporary change in the criminal infrastructure has left very little capacity for sending spam. Between 21 and 23 November, therefore, many mail servers had much less to do than normal. The above diagram shows one month's results from heise online UK's German sister publication, iX Magazine, which runs its own anti-spam blacklist. As a result of the McColo disconnection and the DDoS attacks, the number of queries from mail servers to IP addresses well-known as sources of spam fell by a half. Long-term statistic from German-language hosted email providers antispameurope show just how steeply spam volumes declined last week. The last time the email service provider noted such a steep drop in the level of spam was April 2007.
The delight of having the pressure taken off our electronic mailboxes will be short-lived, however. By Sunday afternoon it had become clear that the bots were again sending more spam, and by the beginning of the week, mail server operators were seeing as many junk mails as on the previous Monday.