By Brian Prince
Spam levels appear to be rising again after a steep decline.
According to researchers at MessageLabs, now part of Symantec, spam
volumes have doubled since last week. Spam levels dropped off
dramatically with the shutdown of Web hosting company McColo on Nov. 11.
Though the firm briefly gained new life the weekend of Nov. 15, it was
quickly shut down again, and spam at first remained at relatively low
McColo played host to a number of major botnets, including Rustock and
Asprox. According to Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist at
MessageLabs, the lag between the initial decline and the subsequent rise
was due to the time it took for the botnet owners to find a new ISP and
"The Asprox and Rustock botnets are back with a vengeance after having
found new command and control," Sergeant said in an e-mail. "Cutwail
never went away and it seems its owners have used the opportunity to
increase output. Mega-D is also on the rise again," he said. "Srizbi,
having once been responsible for 50 percent of all spam, is now
completely defunct. Without this botnet, spam levels won't return to
what they had been."
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