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Is The Rustock Botnet Really Gone Forever?

April 2nd, 2011 Posted in News

The Rustock botnet, which was terminated a few weeks ago with the help of Microsoft, may forever cease to exist but there are plenty of other spam companies waiting to take its place. The latest reports indicate that spam is down by more than 30% worldwide. By itself, this statistic is impressive, but when it is compared with spam levels from the same time last year it is apparent that the Internet is nowhere near close to getting rid of spammers for good.

The fact is, there are no international Internet laws, which makes it easy for spammers to setup servers in countries with few restrictions. Although most people end up ignoring messages from unknown users altogether, technology is getting more advanced. From spoofing to cloaking, spammers are using advanced methods to trick recipients into opening their emails and mail servers have not been able to keep up with the changes.

Microsoft has created an entire department, named the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, to help law enforcement agencies both locate and understand exactly how web spam works. Because spammers focus on different kinds of messages, from the ever popular erectile dysfunction medication emails to malicious threat warnings, it will be difficult to completely eliminate this type of nuisance because it functions as a hydra. While Microsoft is confident that it will be able to one day eradicate web spam, it is important to remember that it has been around almost as long as the Internet has been in existence. Since the Rustock botnet has been down for several weeks investigators believes that it will not be coming back.

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