Over the 2010 holiday season, spam levels dropped drastically, according to information from Symantec’s Paul Wood. Symantec’s spam honeypots report the lowest volume since rogue ISP McColo was shut down in November 2008. As shown below, the amount of spam worldwide has dropped dramatically since 25th December 2010.
Figure 1 – Global spam volumes
The main cause of this drop is a from a huge, yet mysterious, reduction in output from the Rustock botnet, the most dominant spam botnet of 2010. Two other major botnets, Lethic and Xarvester have also reportedly ceased to generate significant spam. MessageLabs Intelligence has seen virtually nothing from Lethic since the 28th, and Xarvester since the 31st of December.
I know this won’t last, and the next spam run is probably seconds away, but a nice reprieve for those overworked Exchange Servers!