The Rustock Botnet was taken down earlier this month. It had accounted for billions of spam e-mails daily. According to Symantec’s March 2011 MessageLabs Intelligence Report this is a big accomplishment because the botnet may not be able to recover its operation.
Last Years Spam Cycle
By the end of last year, this Rustock was responsible for sending out 44 billion spam messages per day, or more than 47 percent of the world’s total output, making it the leading purveyor of spam. Though Rustock lost some steam this year, it still managed to send out more than 13 billion daily spam e-mails earlier this month prior to its takedown, said Symantec.
Who was responsible for the take down
Legal actions by Microsoft and other organizations like Pfizer, FireEye and others, plus raids by federal law enforcement managed to cut off the network a few weeks ago. As a result of the take down, overall global spam messages dropped to around 33 billion per day, compared with 52 billion the prior week.
Rustock may be down, and even out, but by no means is it the only botnet out there doing spamming operations. According to Symantec, Bagle has now become the most active spambot in 2011 so far. Bagle has been around for a number of years and it has spawned at least 70 variants since the virus emerged in January 2004. Some iterations have been more sophisticated than others, blending mass-mailing and Trojan horse techniques. Last year it was sending out more than 8 billion junk e-mails per day; most of them linked to pharmaceutical products, said the report.
Then there are other botnets such as Festi and Cutwail. They have accounted for a big amount of overall spam. For March, slightly more than 83 percent of all global spam was triggered by botnets, a gain of 6 percentage points since the end of 2010.
Source: Dvorak Uncensored