This phenomenal reduction in spam is credited to action by governmental authorities against botnets and organized cyber-crooks. For example, in October, authorities in the Netherlands took down several servers associated with the Bredolab botnet. A September closure of spamit.com, where most of the “pharmaceutical” spam comes from. And arrests in the US, UK and Ukraine of many suspected members of the ZeuS Trojan ring also contributed to this decline in spam.
Here are some thoughts I have to share about this excellent news.
- The world’s governments, at all levels, must take this kind of action in order to have any impact. In this case, the heroes are the government authorities who chose to develop anti-cyber crime units capable of these type of actions against the botnets and their human masters.
- It’s important that the crooks behind these spam-producing botnets and bank account robbing trojans are arrested, convicted, and incarcerated. Just taking down their servers, as has been done in the past, and allowing them to remain free; only slows them down temporarily as they quickly reestablish new command and control servers to resume operation of the botnet spam factories.
- In addition to killing servers and arresting the crooks behind the botnets and trojans; all PCs infected with the bots and trojans, the soldiers of the botnet, must be identified and cleaned by their owners, or the criminal activity will continue as these “zombie” PCs continue to do the jobs they were commanded to do; if not automatically, then as soon as another criminal organization takes over its operation. This gets back to the issue that these botnets and trojans are enabled by computer users who have little or no security installed on their machines and allow the bots and trojans to be placed on them.
- Because these illegal activities are so lucrative, other cyber crime organizations will step in to continue the fleecing of Internet users. Thus, we must continue these arrests, and increase the frequency of these police actions in order to make these gains permanent.
Well, there you are, my thoughts on this subject, both good and bad. We still have a long way to go in this quest to rid the Internet of cyber criminal activity. However, this news is very good news indeed…we must build on it and become so effective at stopping cyber crime that organized crime will “feel the pain” and perhaps decide to go elsewhere to ply their trade.
For more information on this news see the article Botnet takedowns curb spam volumes at The Register.com.
Please comment on this subject; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.
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