Spam falls 75pc after Californian ISP put out of action

13 Nov 2008

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A massive drop of 75pc in the number of spam emails has been reported by MXSweep in the aftermath of the shut-down of a controversial Californian ISP (internet service provider).

ISP McColo was taken offline Tuesday by its upstream ISP following a research report by several security vendors, which alleged McColo helped cyber-criminals promote spam, online fraud and child pornography.

Meath-based MXSweep previously reported over 98pc of all email received into its data centres was classified as spam or viruses. With the drop of over 75pc, the new ratio of spam to good v junk email is now less than 90pc junk.

Previously, each email address on average received over 200 spam emails per day. This has now been reduced to 50-60 spam emails per day.

“Regrettably, it is without a doubt a short-term drop, and the spammers will almost certainly re-house within days,” said Danny Jenkins, MXSweep’s chief technology officer and co-founder.

“In addition, relocation will bring along new techniques of spamming. Spam-filtering companies will need to re-identify the source of the spam quickly to maintain accurate spam filtering,” Jenkins added.

This massive drop also identifies the requirement for the US to step up and begin to take harder action again spammers.

Previously, countries such as the US and the UK have hidden behind industry reports that claim the majority of spam comes from China and other Asian countries.

Jenkins said this event clearly identifies an amount of inaccuracy in these reports, and shows that up until yesterday over 75pc of spam was originating from within the US.

By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com