Company Shutdown Causes 2/3rds Drop In All Spam

The Washington Post is reporting that the shutdown of one hosting company has caused the total volume of spam to drop by 2/3rds. The company in question is McColo Corp. Both Hurricane Electric and Global Crossing pulled the plug today after a damning report revealed a number of illegal activities happening on McColo’s servers. McColo already had a reputation with the security community. When contacted about abuse, the company would often shift servers to new IP ranges instead of shutting them down. Although not the main source of spam, the company was host to many botnet control servers and phishing sites.

[photo: mattdork]

[via Waxy]

26 thoughts on “Company Shutdown Causes 2/3rds Drop In All Spam

  1. WOW!
    Not 2/3 but 75% or 3/4.
    But this is of “all” spam, all as in all spam world wide. And not just email spam but also phishing sites. Thats awesome! I hate those sites that open a dialog and start talking and you cant close them, and the fake sites. Now they have to make sure that they do not come back.

  2. Bastards had it coming to them, but getting rid of spam is like trying to rid the world of the fantasy terrorism Americans like to preach on about. Most people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about in regard to the problem.

  3. A take on Martin Niemöller’s poem,

    “They came first for the spam servers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t spamming;

    And then they came for the “terror” servers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a “terrorist”;

    And then they came for the religious servers, And I didn’t speak up because I was agnostic;

    And then . . . they came for my server . . . And by that time there were no sites left to speak up.”

    Takeing down a hosting company because its customers break the law seems fine. Taking down a company because it serves people/sites you hate is very dangerous. The freedom that gives spammers the ability to operate also gives sites like this and yours the ability to operate.

  4. Well, as blizzarddemon mentioned, this is just a temporary setback for those who send spam. They’ll find some other place to set up shop. Then that one will be shutdown, etc. So, expect that graph to start ramping back up sometime soon.

  5. @ josh:

    Doesn’t contract law cover this sort of thing?
    We haven’t passed any US Network Neutrality legislation (yet). So, -assuming that they don’t have a contract that says otherwise- any network operator can legally cut off anyone else whenever they feel like, right?

  6. Inbound spam traffic to our Barracuda went down about 50% yesterday from the day before (6000 from an average of 12000-ish). Only showing around 4000 so far today. It’s working. It’s really working.

  7. The phishing sites will be back up as soon as they get their domains transferred. The armies of zombie spammers might be hit a little harder, but they’ll recover. The guys who build these networks are not stupid, I’d be really surprised if you can disable them by shutting down control servers belonging to a single host.

    There will be little lasting effect.

  8. tf – the Glasgow thing was a pathetic attempt at terrorism. They managed to set themselves on fire, then get punched in the face.

    It could’ve been worse, but it somehow seems wrong to lump it in with real terrorist attacks with real casualties.

  9. I think that this really isn’t a solution because it just cut off the head to the spambots, the body (being zombie computers) need to be fixed. It doesn’t really matter if the people who were in control of the spambots had their internet disconnected because they’ll eventually find a new source and just reconnect to the zombie computers. If people really want a solution, they themselves need to take better care of their privacy because I’m sure there was a point in time where a computer you owned turned into a zombie.

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