Spammers Bounce Back After Host Shutdown

Zombie spam-sending computers reactivated from foreign ISPs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2008 8:57 AM CST
Romanian artist Alex Dragulescu's visual representation of the "russian3" spam file is shown. Dragulescu was commissioned by a computer security company to render cyberthreats into a 3-D form.   (AP Photo/ MessageLabs, Alex Dragulescu)
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(Newser) – Spammers are surging back onto the Internet again, 2 weeks after being dealt a body blow by a server shutdown, CNET News reports. Spam volumes dived 80% after the California-based McColo hosting firm was pulled offline. They remained flat until a few days ago but have now risen to around a third of their former levels as spambots reactivate.

The problem, antispam experts say, is that botnets—computers that, unknown to their owners, are sometimes hijacked to send spam messages—are back in business now that the spammers have found new ISPs, mostly abroad. The security experts on the frontline of the war on spam are working to take the new providers down as well, but are finding it a much tougher battle outside US jurisdiction.