Symantec report says botnet shutdowns to thank

Spam continues to fall

The volume of email spam has continued to drop following the shut down of several botnets pumping out unwanted email, security outfit Symantec has found

According to the firm, global spam volume was down 22.5 per cent month-on-month in October, and down over 47 per cent compared to August.

Symantec pointed to botnet shutdowns including the Zeus ring and as contributing to the drop. The Netherlands also took down several servers controlling the Bredolab botnet.

In October spam still made up 86.6 per cent of all email, but this was described as the lowest level of spam since September 2009.

Symantec said spam was taking a holiday related theme with replica items, online replica, online pharmacies and 419-type scams featuring heavily.

The United States was still by far the largest source of spam representing 27 per cent of world spam originating from compromised machines and servers. In terms of phishing scams, the US hosted an astonishing 50 per cent of the world phishing hosts and phishing lures.

The report also highlighted the growth of social networking phishing scams. A common mechanism to lurk end-users to giving away confidential information was to pose as a security service of the social networking brand. Like most phishing scams, users were encouraged to provide log in details to continue to gain access to the service.

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