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Spam on the Rise Again, Say Experts

While the volume of spam recently plunged in the wake of the McColo shutdown, some experts suggest that spam is again on the rise, according to stories by Computer World and the BBC.

Researchers at IronPort Systems and MessageLabs agree that spam numbers have increased over the last week, although their exact figures, and predictions for the future, differ.
A senior product manager with IronPort, Nick Edwards reported to Computer World that, despite an increase of nearly 10 billion since McColo's shutdown on November 13th, spam volume is still at less than half of the 153 billion prior to that date.

Matt Sergeant, however, a technologist at MessageLabs, does not deliver such cheery news; he claims that the amount of spam currently online is nearly two-thirds of what it was prior to November 13th.

While folks at IronPort seem to be optimistic about spam numbers remaining low, and Messagelabs researchers seem more cautious, both Edwards and Sergeant are confident that spam levels will not return to their high-water mark. This, they say, is largely due to the destruction of the Srizbi botnet, which -- Sergeant told Computer World -- had accounted for half of all spam.

Still, there is dissent among the ranks of anti-spam researchers. According to the Washington Post, Srizbi was resurrected earlier this week According to the article, the worldwide network of Srizbi-infected computers -- over 500,000 strong -- are equipped with a feature that, in the event the master servers go down, will locate the new servers once they are established. If they're right, we should see a huge spike in spam volumes in the not-too-distant future.

At this point, there's little to do but wait and see. [From: Computer World and BBC]

Tags: e-mail, security, spam, studies, top, trends