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Symantec says spam hits three-year low, Rustock botnet still not missed

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Symantec's just released an end of the year report that boasts spam emails are down to their lowest level in three years, but the company ignored that one of the world's largest producers of spam was taken down in March.

Botnet Chart (credit Tom B / Wikimedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom-b
Botnet Chart (credit Tom B / Wikimedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom-b

Symantec's just released an end of the year report boasting that 70.5 percent of all email is spam, the lowest level in three years, but the company seemed to ignore (or at least downplay) a key event that actually spurred the decrease. In March, spam volume took a major hit after Rustock, which produced 30 billion spam messages per day, was taken offline following a cooperative effort led by Microsoft.

It's worth noting that Symantec's report does point out what appears at first to be an alarming trend: nearly 50 percent more sites contained malware than October. This number doesn't necessarily reflect an increase in new malware, however — just more websites. It's often higher when web-based malware has been in circulation for a longer period of time.

[Image credit: Tom-B]