No Spam Decrease, Despite The Big Spam Bust

from the keeps-going-and-going-and-going-and-going dept

Last week, in talking about the “big” spam bust, we focused on the key question: if this busted group was such a big player in the spamworld, would it actually decrease the amount of spam we are seeing? The answer, apparently, is no. Slashdot points us to the news that spam levels remained about the same, even as officials claimed that the spam ring they busted may have represented 30% of the world’s spam. There seem to be a few different theories as to why: such as the idea that the botnet these spammers controlled was set to keep on spamming automatically (which could mean a later decrease in spam), as well as the idea that other spammers quickly took control over the botnet (or were given control over it), and the suggestion that other spammers simply cranked up their own spamming operations to fill the void. So, yes, it’s great that some big spammers have been arrested, but at what point is an effort made to actually stop the amount of spam that’s flowing?

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Comments on “No Spam Decrease, Despite The Big Spam Bust”

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Anonymous Coward says:

What does this mean?

Your Contact Us Form isn’t working. A few months back, you kindly requested us to use the CONTACT US form instead of playing Grammar Nazi.

In the 1st sentence, who is “THIS” referring to? When I read the story all the way through, we’re missing a reference point.

I didn’t want to post this as a comment, but it got me thinking. You and I both hate grammar nazis, and it seems that all too often people want to blast off a comment saying how you need a semi-colon or change case, or re-word a sentence to make a point.

Have you thought about adding “write the author” button or something similar that would enable someone like myself to bounce an email back to the originating author?

As a function of this button, if the post has more than 5 comments, the button should be disabled and not shown to the user.

Why make this a functional requirement?
Well, you want to prioritize grammatical/fact errors, not provide a method for mad companies to find a way to reach you without seeing the DCMA notice, et al.


Mike (profile) says:

Re: What does this mean?

Your Contact Us Form isn’t working

Can you provide more details? I just tested it and it worked for me, but it could be a variety of issues. Any details you can provide would be helpful in figuring out what caused the problem. In the meantime, I’ll alert the tech team to do some testing.

In the 1st sentence, who is “THIS” referring to? When I read the story all the way through, we’re missing a reference point.

THIS referred to the folks involved in the spam ring. I’ve updated it to try to clarify. Sorry for any confusion.

Have you thought about adding “write the author” button or something similar that would enable someone like myself to bounce an email back to the originating author?

Interesting idea, though I already get a ton of email… 🙂 But it’s worth thinking about some other options. Thanks for the suggestion.

Allen (profile) says:

In theory they are already making an effort to actually stop spam. Catching and prosecuting a spammer should stop them from spamming and maybe deter others from taking the practice up.

It’s disappointing that it doesn’t seem to be have been as effective as most people had hoped.

I would tend towards the view that the botnet is automated and someone needs to shut it down first.

But there was one more possibility that you didn’t mention:

Spam is the dark side of the economics of infinite goods. No promotion relying on physical promotional material could afford the low sale:copy ratios that spam has. But it costs little to set up, the promotional materials (emails) are infinite and they use the infinite goods to sell the limited physical goods (herbal penis enlargement pills) to enough fools that there is actually money to be made.

Where am I going with this? With low barrier to entry and low operating costs, I think that there are just so many other spammers out there that the claimed 30% (forgive the term) market share seems a touch inflated.

chris (profile) says:

35,000 bots is insignificant

the “big” bust last week wasn’t big at all. it wasn’t even a good start. it was barely a decent day’s work.

the storm and kraken botnets have nodes that number in the several hundreds of thousands to millions. i’ll bet they lose 50,000 nodes a day and pick up at least that many if not more each day to replace them.

when it comes to spam, we are all out gunned and out numbered by orders of magnitude.

these are networks of compromised computers that are 2-3 times the size of google. think about that for a second.

google is rumored to have between 400,000 and a million servers. losing 35,000 nodes wouldn’t hurt google for more than a couple of minutes, so why do you think it would affect spamming in the slightest?

Anonymous Coward says:

In the last 4 weeks my spam stopped increasing and instead I have seen a decrease. It is down by more than 1/3 of my usual daily allotment.
I think the most significant decrease came at the time it was reported that a cluster of scam sites had been ousted from their last ISP, but the number continues to decline each day.
There was another noticeable drop last weekend.

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