Spam is the bane of the internet. It’s one aspect all web denizens would agree they could do without.
Whether an offer for a quick and easy money-making scheme or the chance to enlarge something other than your checking account balance, spam is a constant thorn stuck inside millions of inboxes. However, thanks to the closure of a major spam provider countless email accounts may be a little less cluttered with unsolicited offers from Nigerian princes.
The Rustock Botnet, the official name for the amalgamation of servers used to spread most global spam, was shut down last week and as of today are no longer filling up inboxes with unwanted mail reports The Daily Mail. Microsoft, working in conjunction with U.S. authorities, seized the servers associated with the ploy says the site.
The end result was a “decapitated” botnet unable to deliver its fraudulent freight.
A botnet is essentially an unmanned collective of programs which, though not malicious by design, are often utilized for internet scams, DDoS attacks or the propagation of viruses and malware. Email spam is one such method; opening a spam message could infect the unwitting recipient’s computer with a worm or even fool them into sending the message to others.
Charts provided by Symantec, the California-based web security company behind popular anti-virus software Norton, reflected the complete dearth of spam from Rustock since its seizure last week. However, a brief glimpse is all that’s needed as a stark reminder that while Rustock was the major player in email spam, it certainly wasn’t the only player.
In a post on the official Symantec blog last week, employee Paul Wood described how despite Rustock’s demise global spam remains relatively unaffected due to other spam providers picking up the slack.
“This increase from other botnets means that so far, the takedown of Rustock hasn’t had much noticeable effect on the overall amount of spam,” he wrote. “So far in fact, traffic looks normal.”
If Symantex is to be believed, it’s still far too early to tell if there’s now one less automated spammer, or if news of Rustock’s death has been greatly exaggerated…again.