Google: Spam Volume on the Rise Again
| Credit: Google|
Curiously, the weeks leading up to McColo being pulled didn't even represent the highest spam volumes seen. That actually happened earlier in 2008, on April 23, when Google estimates that its Google Message Security data centers blocked an average of 194 spam messages per user. Some users fared even much worse:
"This peak was driven by an unprecedented number of non-delivery receipt (NDR) attacks we saw in April. One customer who was the target of a specific NDR attack said that their users were receiving an average of 100 emails every minute."
"Our statistics show that the average unprotected user would have received 45,000 spam messages in 2008 (up from 36,000 in 2007)."
And even with the temporary drop in spam in late 2008, Google reports virus volume still saw a significant net increase:
"During the second half of 2008, virus volume increased six-fold from the first half of the year."
Spam and viruses often go hand and hand, as spam is frequently used as a platform for disseminating malware. It's a safe bet that as spam volume picks up steam in 2009 that virus volume will follow suit. Aside from the proactive steps that users, service providers, and Websites can take and the cautious behavior we can implement when trying to deal with spam, the only real indication that spam can be noticeably thwarted--even if only temporarily--is via another industry-wide coordinated effort, similar to the unprecedented events that led to McColo's shutdown.