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News

Spam reduction after US relay service shut down

Network Box : 21 November, 2008  (Technical Article)
With the McColo service eliminated, primary source of spam now shifts to Asia with China and Russia gaining significance
The shutdown of the McColo spam hosting service means that the USA is, for the first time this year, no longer the primary source of the world's spam, according to managed security firm, Network Box. China now produces more spam than any other country in the world.

California-based McColo was shut down in the US last week, after security researchers provided evidence that billions of spam emails were being sent through its servers. As a result, spam levels dropped by almost two-thirds.

According to Simon Heron, Internet Security Analyst at Network Box, malware levels have also dropped. "We've also seen a significant drop in emails containing viruses and phishing attacks," says Heron. "This indicates that McColo's servers were also used to distribute malicious emails containing viruses, and not just the usual junk marketing mail. "

However, spam may be back in business, operating out of Russia. Heron says: "McColo came back online briefly over last weekend, most likely uploading all the command and control software required to run the botnets. So we'd expect spam to be back to usual levels in a couple of weeks using servers based in Russia.

"This is yet another clear example of why we need a co-ordinated, international approach to cyber-crime."
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