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Symantec: Spam Drops to Two-Year Low

Symantec attributes the decline to the halt in spam-sending activities from a trio of botnets – Rustock, Lethic and Xavester.

 By Kara Reeder | Posted Jan 27, 2011
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eSecurity Planet reports that according to Symantec's January 2011 MessageLabs Intelligence report, spam traffic dropped to 78.6 percent of all e-mails, the lowest rate since March 2009.

Symantec attributes the decline to the halt in spam-sending activities from a trio of botnets – Rustock, Lethic and Xavester. Another contributing factor was the shuttering of SpamIt, one of the largest drug-spamming affiliates. Still, according to the report, spam still seems to be working:

For now, it's clear that spam remains a profitable activity for spammers and there is no evidence to suggest that pharmaceutical spam is suffering any loss in profitability ... However, the closure of SpamIt re-shaped the activities of many of the major pharmaceutical spam gangs as pharmaceutical spam operations underwent restructuring and consolidation.

Symantec did find a tiny increase in e-mail-borne phishing campaigns that have plagued the likes of McDonald's and Coca-Cola of late.

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