Mountain View, Calif. — Symantec, a security software manufacturer for computers, released a chart June 29 in their blog that outlined the decrease in e-mail spam messages since July 2010.

The chart shows over 230 spam messages being sent per day in July 2010, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail traffic, the blog read. To date, the the daily spam volume accountes for nearly 39.2 billion — an 82.22 percent decrease in spam over a year, Mashable reported Tuesday.

Rustock — one of the largest botnets in 2010 — was once responsible for 44.1 billion spam e-mails a day, or 47.5 percent of all spam, according to Symantec. In March 2011, Rustock ceased its services due to “concerted action by a partnership of industry and law enforcement,” the blog wrote.


Reporting on the trend, Brian Krebs from the Washington Post attributed the decrease to law enforcement and security experts who have worked with Internet service providers to dismantle botnets and arrest people associated with these companies.

“Takedowns can have an effect of temporarily providing relief from general badness, be it click fraud, spam, or credential theft, but lasting takedowns can only be achieved by putting criminals in silver bracelets,” said Alex Lanstein, a senior security researcher at cyberattack specialists FireEye.

Although the percentage of spam has significantly decreased, a new superbug, TDL-4, has emerged and is currently infecting 4.5 million PC users.

The new virus “uses a custom encryption scheme that makes it difficult for security experts to analyze traffic between hijacked PCs and botnet controllers. TDL-4 control networks also send out instructions to infected PCs using a peer-to-peer network that includes multiple failsafe mechanisms,” Krebs wrote.

Related Links: (Mashable) (Symantec) (Krebs on Security)