Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Dec 15 2009   7:05AM GMT

Do they know it’s Christmas in Spam-sylvania?

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

For those who worry about the working conditions of malfeasance, a little Christmas cheer: At least some spam shops offer the holidays off, according to recent research published by Project Honeypot, which found there is a 21% decrease in spam on Christmas Day and a 32% decrease on New Year’s Day. Next Up: Whether Jabba the Hutt offers dental and vision benefits.

The report does offer some useful information, even if it’s just to raise awareness that spam can easily evolve from “nuisance” to “security threat” in the time it takes you to type out “Nigerian Prince.” Project Honeypot’s billionth spam message, for example, was an IRS phishing attack.

As the “social web” marches forward, Project Honeypot’s researches expected spam to set the pace: One of the fastest growing sectors skipped e-mail entirely:

Looking at the data patterns, comment spam in 2009 resembles email spam when Project Honey Pot began in 2004. While comment spammers today are tending to use a relatively limited set of machines to post their messages, if this new breed of spammers follows the email spammers’ lead to massive adoption of bot networks then it will pose a significant threat to websites everywhere.

And that threat isn’t just obnoxious, off-topic posts (see many a social site to realize you don’t need robots for that!) but also DDoS attacks bringing down sites large and small.

The Project Honeypot team also used the data of where spam was being forwarded one to come up with a rough graph of worst/best IT security by country, based on the thinking that more botnets equals more virus infestations:

What? Still not full of Yuletide cheer? Well here’s the classic song that kicked off the Band Aid fund raisers to get you back in the mood.

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