Western Europe spam drop ‘significant’


Both Western Europe and the US have seen a notable fall in spam, according to Kaspersky Lab.

Despite seeing declines, the UK still put out more than both France and Germany, being responsible for 4.3 per cent of all global spam in December, the Russian security giant found.

India was the biggest spamming offender, sending out nearly 10 per cent of all spam, whilst Russia came in second place.

Kaspersky praised the anti-botnet campaigns undertaken in the West for contributing to the fall in spam.

Last November, a drop in spam was largely attributed to the closure of over 20 control centres used by the Pushdo/Cutwail botnet, as well as the Bredolab shutdown.

The UK also saw its share of all malware detected in email traffic drop to below three per cent, meaning the nation fell to 10th place overall, having been in the top three until October.

"Immediately before the start of the holidays we witnessed a dip in the amount of spam," said Maria Namestnikova, senior spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

"This is a seasonal phenomenon at the end of the year the amount of spam mailings always falls off because a lot of the infected botnet computers are switched off."


Spammers still used current affairs in December, hitting on the WikiLeaks affair in particular.

Kaspersky noted numerous cases where spammers had called on users to spread WikiLeaks links, supposedly in support of democracy.

To get around spam filters, spammers included WikiLeaks in background noise texts, including material actually published from the site.

Sometimes the culprits had included WikiLeaks in links to try and evade filters.

"Spam is usually dominated by the Christmas and New Year holiday theme in December, but in 2010 it had to share the limelight with WikiLeaks, which once again underlines just how serious the scandal surrounding the website was at the end of the year," Namestnikova added.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.