Print 38 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Nov 20 at 8:23 AM

A company with ties to Eastern Europe has been forced offline, which has helped spam levels decrease

The global amount of spam e-mail sent over the past two weeks has reduced drastically after two ISPs in the United States stopped offering service to a web hosting company involved in spam. San Jose, CA- based McColo Corp. also was involved in several criminal activities aside from spam, including child pornography, IronPort said.  

One of the company's ISPs, Hurricane Electric, was shown evidence by a Washington Post reporter that McColo was involved in criminal activity, which led Hurricane Electric to pull the plug.  Global Crossing also pulled the plug on McColo yesterday morning.

Spam monitoring groups said spam mail has decreased 70 percent after the company was booted off of the internet on November 11.  Several of the largest botnets in operation were supported by McColo, and criminal organizations involved in child pornography used the McColo servers.

The company's web site, before it was taken down, promoted the company as a legitimate business operating out of Delaware, with servers located in San Jose.  Its "partners" included Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

Although McColo is dead for now, actually filing charges and incarcerating the people behind the company will be extremely difficult -- especially since some of the company's backers are located in Eastern Europe.

McColo's main web site remains shut down.

Even though this seems like a victory, spam experts warn there will be a dozen other spammers ready to take McColo's place, and numbers will again increase.  As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, spam levels, which typically increase during the holidays, are expected to rebound and increase over the next month and a half.

Governments are working closely with ISPs to try and identify and prosecute people who are believed to be spammers.  More spammers in the United States are being punished by heavy fines and jail sentences, but if the spammers are located overseas, it becomes much more difficult to identify and prosecute them.

Several high-profile spammers over the past year have been shut down and given prison sentence, in a telling sign the U.S. government is ready to continue prosecuting spammers.

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Thank God
By mfed3 on 11/14/2008 9:56:52 AM , Rating: 5
These people are despicable, preying on non-computer savvy moms and dads. I hope they get raped in jail.

RE: Thank God
By BikeDude on 11/14/2008 10:33:35 AM , Rating: 5
...hopefully by someone buying some of all that v1agr4.

RE: Thank God
By Regs on 11/14/2008 1:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
And it's about time too.

RE: Thank God
By iamezza7 on 11/14/2008 3:30:18 PM , Rating: 3
and a p3n1s enlargement device!

RE: Thank God
By tastyratz on 11/14/2008 3:41:51 PM , Rating: 5
Unfortunately they werent buying it in prison, the people buying it are on the outside... living in their f:o:r:e:c:l:o:s:e:d homes after refinancing with[{ a l0w inteeerest.;, morgage.
anyone want their free $100 gift card?

RE: Thank God
By Clauzii on 11/14/2008 8:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
I can help with the payment. Sign in now to obtain free credit.

RE: Thank God
By tastyratz on 11/20/2008 8:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
it appears you forgot the link. I need to sign in now to send payment at

RE: Thank God
By gsellis on 11/17/2008 7:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
Very well played. A golf clap for you.

RE: Thank God
By stirfry213 on 11/17/2008 12:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
Where's his 6 rating? This made me LOL literally...

No Change
By Ray 69 on 11/14/2008 10:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see a difference, still getting the same amount of spam in my inbox.

RE: No Change
By lukasbradley on 11/14/2008 10:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
Same. My filters are about the same on both corporate and personal levels.

RE: No Change
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/14/2008 12:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's because your filters are working against you. they are actually creating false spam to make you think it's finding and killing more spam the it really is.... Your filters have joint the dark side of the spam world.
No, I have no idea why (maybe they did not have your domain yet..).... I just find it amazing that one place could be the blame for some 70 or 80% of the spam.

RE: No Change
By Curelom on 11/14/2008 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 4

same thing with our antivirus. All the viruses are being written by antivirus companies in the first place.

RE: No Change
By Indianapolis on 11/14/2008 12:48:40 PM , Rating: 3
They do it on their lunch breaks.

RE: No Change
By flutedude2005 on 11/14/2008 2:54:54 PM , Rating: 2

Huge Spam Drop!
By rumptis on 11/14/2008 9:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Personal on our Spam filter I have seen at least a 80% drop over the past 2 weeks....just amazing!

RE: Huge Spam Drop!
By Ytsejamer1 on 11/14/2008 10:10:58 AM , Rating: 4
We were getting around 120K emails per day, 98% of which were spam. After the 11th, we're now getting around 35K per day. Amazing. My mail gateway can breathe a bit more now! :)

RE: Huge Spam Drop!
By bighairycamel on 11/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Huge Spam Drop!
By jimpaka on 11/14/2008 11:41:21 AM , Rating: 4
We != I

RE: Huge Spam Drop!
By MrDiSante on 11/16/2008 4:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have any big statistics, but I've stopped receiving spam completely. I was getting 3-4 messages/day before, and in the last 5 days I haven't gotten a single one.

RE: Huge Spam Drop!
By Clauzii on 11/14/2008 9:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Goowy was moved to AOL a few weeks ago. Until two days ago I was getting ~150spams a day. Now, max. 20. I guess it helped.
(Whether it has to do with spam or not(?), the inbox- /spam-counter is also correct now).

Actually I'm normally not against 'censor-ship' aginst ISPs, but in case of spammers, I'd happyly vote for Immidiately shutdown for those.

I miss my Nigerian friends...
By ExarKun333 on 11/14/2008 11:07:58 AM , Rating: 5
I noticed the drop in Spam as well! I do miss my friends in Nigeria though; it seems that no matter how often I send money over there to claim an inheritance, I never seem to get paid. I suppose checks take a while to get over here, but I am waiting patiently!

RE: I miss my Nigerian friends...
By dyingcat on 11/14/2008 8:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if we are claiming the same inheritance...

RE: I miss my Nigerian friends...
By Clauzii on 11/14/2008 9:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for my €2,365,122,015,- I won in the Euro Lottery.

I wonder why I didn't respond to those...?!

By MrBlastman on 11/14/2008 9:38:47 AM , Rating: 4
The words muttered to Iolo ring true to this day. Good bye my faithful spammers, I lament ye passing.

I shed a tear in your remembrance, for ye's daily comment no longer tickles mine eyes. Woe is ye absence, for I miss thy beautiful imagery. Gone are the beautful women, the aids to strengthen my lance, potions to give my thrusting even more might.

Oh, how dost I recover from this dreadful news. What shall I do to abide my time? It is as if my best friend, who faithfully rang me ever day has perished. Thou shalt be remembered, like a chamber pot once empty that is quickly tossed into the street. For a fleeting moment you tickle me as the patron on the road below gets a "heads up."

...and that is all. As you roll into the gutters and down the drain, my pot is now empty and ready for new beginnings.

Good bye spammers. Please don't return any time soon.

By Mr Perfect on 11/14/2008 12:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
"Gone are the beautful women, the aids to strengthen my lance, potions to give my thrusting even more might."

You know, I think you're right. All of the "enhancement" spam HAS stopped.

By Clauzii on 11/14/2008 9:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is!

Do we get a free boner now :O

Next step
By fishbits on 11/14/2008 2:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Next step would be excising from the 'Net nations who go easy on spammers. They can clean up their acts, or play in their own tiny, bodily waste-polluted kiddie pools away from the rest of us.

RE: Next step
By MamiyaOtaru on 11/14/2008 6:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's how I feel. Or did, until I heard that 70% of spam was stopped by shutting down a company in the US :(

RE: Next step
By jonmcc33 on 11/18/2008 7:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
Tell me about it! Now these people are without jobs and will have to foreclose on their homes!

I noticed a difference
By wvh on 11/15/2008 12:14:53 AM , Rating: 2
I noticed a change in spam levels. I figured my ISP updated spam-assassin or put some other measures in place...

While we should be happy about this, it pisses me off that one company with a handful of people can get away this long without anybody in the whole world actually apprehending them. If it's still true that most spam comes from just a few individuals and companies, why are governments worldwide still not taking this seriously?

RE: I noticed a difference
By mindless1 on 11/15/2008 7:07:43 PM , Rating: 3
because nobody that's anti-spam is lining politicians' pockets. You can bet there'd have been immediate action if the contents of a spam was pirated MP3 attachments instead of an ad for V1agra.

Harsh punishment
By InvertMe on 11/14/2008 1:38:18 PM , Rating: 3
I hope these people get very long and uncomfortable jail sentences. Spam is bad enough but trafficing in kiddie porn should be punishable by having certain bits removed from your body.

By William Gaatjes on 11/14/2008 10:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
Since i do most spam filtering at home and not everything at isp level, i noticed also a large decrease in spam mail for the last 2 weeks. I had a feeling something was shutdown. Nice to read this confirmation.

Excellent indeed.

Keep up the good work.

The joys of your own domain
By probedb on 11/14/2008 11:46:51 AM , Rating: 2
Mean I've never had a spam you get to delete email forwarders at will :)

But shutting them down is they need to get rid of the rest.

False news
By Screwballl on 11/14/2008 3:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
Spam numbers are not down. The botnets are still churning them out as instructed by their last "contact" by the botnet "master". The numbers have leveled, rather than slightly increasing or decreasing as the master may instruct them.

I work for a small ISP, our several thousand email accounts typically see 6-10 million emails per day (not including the 20-30 million trying to get to bad or unknown email addresses in the system), out of which 25,000 to 30,000 are good legitimate emails. The numbers over the past few weeks has been hanging around 7-8 million daily with no real changes or trends (other than a jump to almost 11 million the day of the election).

What we need are good hackers to get in and take over the master position of these botnets instructing them to self destruct or shut down.

Hurricane Electric
By Spamsick on 11/16/2008 4:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
I've had several mass spam come from Hurricane Electric and made contact with them. They payed dumb and innocent, but I am convinced they knew exactly who their clients were. They will figure out how to host them again, under another name probably.

Can someone answer a question?
By phxfreddy on 11/19/2008 10:43:05 AM , Rating: 2
I am skeptical. I do not know anyone who is into kiddy porn. In addition the penalties are numerous. How could anyone have a working business model? Seems like it would be impossible to have a business model that scales.

Thus I am skeptical when I see the comment about them being into some sort of kiddy porn. Seems like law enforcement trots this out when they want to get someone.

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