Enjoy lower spam levels while they last

It's kind of like the "war on drugs": Lock up one dealer and it's not long before another seizes the business opportunity.

According to Google's -- "2008: The Year in Spam" -- much the same is happening in the world of junk e-mail.

In November 2008 a large source of the world's spam, the McColo network, was taken offline. Prior to that, spam levels had been holding relatively constant. But when McColo went offline, we saw spam drop by 70% compared with previous levels. However, spammers are recovering with vigor.

While spam is still down overall, it's important to note its rate of growth. Spam levels are up by 156% since November 2008. As spammers recover, the increased rate of spam growth will likely have total spam volumes back to pre-McColo levels within a few months.

More details in this story.

As for the year just under way, Google offers this outlook:

Looking ahead to the rest of 2009, we expect viruses sent via email and in blended attacks (email and web) to continue to be a serious threat. During the second half of 2008, virus volume increased six-fold from the first half of the year. These spam messages would often try to fool users by mimicking legitimate emails such as package tracking notifications or invoices that included virus attachments. Another popular technique in 2008 was emailing spoofed news alerts with URLs that would link to a website hosting the virus.

That's just one reason why we encourage you to get your technology news here at Network World. We're just looking out for your well-being.

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