Symantec: Global Spam Down by a Third Since Dismantling Rustock Botnet

Paul Lilly

Hate spam? Of course you do, just like every one else who doesn't profit from this nefarious business. Assuming you're one of the good guys, here's a bit of good news coming from Symantec's MessageLabs division. The destruction of the massive Rustock botnet had a direct impact on spam, reducing the number of global spam messages by a third. The fallout was both immediate and significant, MessageLab says.

The timing couldn't have been better. According to MessageLabs, spam levels had been up by 6.1 percentage points in March 2011 compared with the end of 2010. Nearly 90 percent of spam currently comes from botnets, which "have been and remain a destructive force for cyber criminals and through the years have become the spammers' air supply."

Rustock was one of the more popular spam-sending botnets, According to MessageLabs, "in March, prior to its takedown, Rustock had been sending as much as 13.82 billion spam emails daily, accounting for an average of 28.5 percent of global spam sent from all botnets in March...It is therefore no surprise that global spam volumes fell by approximately one third after the botnet ceased sending spam."

You can download and read MessageLabs' full "March 2011 Intelligence Report" here (PDF) .

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