Print 12 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Dec 26 at 2:14 PM

When botnets attack  (Source: Dallas Observer)
Botnet activity is very low online right now

Spam, viruses, and malware are the scourge of the internet. The good news for spam haters is that levels of spam have been dropping lately.

Security researchers have noted that while some types of holiday-related spam continue to circulate like e-greeting spam, overall botnet activity has declined. The level of Christmas related spam has significantly dwindled in 2010 according to the researchers.

Phil Hay, senior threat analyst from M86 said, "Holiday/Christmas spam is a non-event this year as far as activity from major botnets is concerned." He added, "The major botnets that are left are currently spamming their usual affiliate programs in a typical way, mostly centered around drugs and replicas. We are seeing very small campaigns from sources that are unknown to us. … But these cases are minor in the overall scheme of things. On the malware front it's a similar story, with the demise of Bredolab, the amount of spam and malware has drastically reduced, and what is left is not Christmas themed."

M86 isn't the only security firm seeing levels of spam decrease. McAfee Labs has also noted a decrease in spam. McAfee's Sam Masiello said botnet traffic appears to have dropped over the last six weeks. This has some to do with the major botnets that have been put out of commission this year. McAfee reports that the botnet traffic it is seeing comes from the Cutwail and Rustock botnets which are said to be two of the largest spamming botnets online today.

Masillo also noted that the spam sent by the two botnets didn’t have holiday-related subjects and the subjects weren't known until the message was opened. One of the more prolific spam messages making rounds right now has to do with DHL deliveries with a new spam campaign coming three to four times each week.

The amount of spam circulating online also declined in October of this year.

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By solarrocker on 12/22/2010 1:28:52 PM , Rating: 5
Barely Stirring this Chrismtas Season

Jesus Chrismt?

RE: Chrismtas?
By amanojaku on 12/22/2010 1:47:12 PM , Rating: 5
Oh my Gomdt!

RE: Chrismtas?
By ssjwes1980 on 12/23/2010 9:24:35 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Chrismtas?
By Rinadien on 12/23/2010 10:28:25 AM , Rating: 4
He killed Kemtnny!!

RE: Chrismtas?
By chagrinnin on 12/23/2010 11:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
"You basmtards!"

Maybe they are being used for something else...
By HrilL on 12/22/2010 1:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe people running botnets have other uses for them. Also all the cases of spam kingpins getting fine millions might have put a slight damper on that. Botnets can be used for many things other than sending spam.

By DanNeely on 12/22/2010 2:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the spam out there now is coming from outside the US in countries that don't care; so with the exception of the occasional spammer we sucker into coming here we can't do anything effective to them.

By JimboK29 on 12/22/2010 9:01:02 PM , Rating: 3
Spell check is free.

What does it mean?
By Yames on 12/23/2010 3:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's a double botnet rainbow.

Seriously though, I wonder if this is a beginning of some new trend or just a coincidence.

Not really "news"
By EricMartello on 12/26/2010 2:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Email spam hasn't really been a problem for the last 5 years or so and botnets have been made increasingly difficult to operate since most major ISPs block the email outgoing email ports on consumer internet accounts. While there still is spam being sent, it's nothing like it used to be back in 1998-2002...and just about any modern email client has the ability to filter out 95% of it quite effectively.

Twas the night before Christmas...
By dapneym on 12/22/2010 1:46:39 PM , Rating: 1
...and all through the world,not a botnet was stirring...

By Lerianis on 12/25/2010 8:37:00 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously, it's been YEARS since I got a warning of a botnet on my machine and my router does "logging" so I've looked at the logs.... haven't seen anything out of the ordinary at all.

Microsoft might have finally fixed the botnet bullshit with Windows 7, which is almost impossible to infect unless someone ALLOWS the infection.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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