Spam's Next Wave

Can email security vendors battle botnets?

February 24, 2007

1 Min Read
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9:15 AM -- It's not just storage hardware and PCs that are flooding out of China at the moment. (See FalconStor Focuses on China and China: Storage Superpower?.) A report from Australian firm Marshal reveals that spam is at its highest levels ever, thanks largely to a resurgence of spam from China and Korea. (See Spam Volumes Grow.)

This, apparently, is the result of a botnet running off Asian computers, which is spreading spam at an alarming rate. According to Marshal's researchers, spam now accounts for eight out of every 10 email messages in the average inbox.

Earlier this month David Thomas, deputy assistant director of the FBI's science and technology branch, warned that China could soon usurp Eastern Europe as the world's cyber-crime hotbed. (See FBI.) With an increasingly tech-savvy (and mind-bogglingly large) population, Chinese cyber-criminals could wreak havoc on U.S. businesses, he said.

To make matters worse, hackers are clearly raising their botnet game. Incredibly, some botnets even stage distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks on one another to kidnap bots to add to their "armies." (See Black Hat: Botnets Go One-on-One and Botnets Don Invisibility Cloaks.)

Messaging security may be an increasingly hot button for vendors, but it looks like they have still got their work cut out stopping the bad guys. (See Email Review Can Reduce Risk, NextSentry, MessageGate Team, and Mirapoint, NetApp Integrate.)James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

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