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16 Nov 2006
You may have read reports that the total amount of spam is on the decline. Don't believe them. In the month of October, I saw the amount of spam in my traps here roughly double, from about 50,000 per day to 100,000/day now. In conversations with managers at both ISPs and corporate networks, I'm hearing the same thing. One corporate network has gone from about 12 million spam rejects a month in June and July to 28 million in October. The very large mail systems don't publish their numbers, but they tell me informally they're seeing the same thing.
So far, nobody can figure out why. Perhaps we have a new generation of zombies, so numerous that price has dropped and spammers can buy twice as many of them. But whatever it is, if anyone tells you that the worst of spam is over, they're just wrong.
Update on Nov 15th: There's been yet another huge spike in spam today, even beyond last month's level. I noticed it overwhelming my modest servers, and friends at both corporate mail systems and large ISPs say they've seen it, too. We can only deal with so many doublings of the spam load before there just isn't enough hardware and software to handle it.
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