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.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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