Internet Security leader McAfee Inc.’s January Spam Report looks back at 2008 and offer predictions about what’s to come on the spam front in 2009.


The Report headlines the takedown last fall of U.S.based spam host giant McColo, resulting in a 65 per cent drop in spam volume across the Net for over a week.

“Brian Krebs, a Washington Post investigative technology reporter, recently accomplished something that had never been done before — he nearly killed spam!” the Report enthuses.

Alas, the spammers simply packed up and moved to Eastern European hosts and were moer or less back in business as usual a month later.

Among the report’s predictions for 2009:

  • Free Web-hosting and blogging services will be increasingly abused by spammers
  • Targeted phishing and corporate blackmail attacks will increase
  • Spam scams targeting home businesses will increase
  • Forging of accounts and other abuse of free email services will increase

The Report also take a look at the big winners and losers on the spam front this past year. In summary, ‘pump and dump’ stock scams, naked celebrity photo offers, and the old ‘cheap AutoCAD’ chestnut waned in popularity as consumers got wiser to them and stopped responding. On the other hand, online pharmacy scams and fake Rolex watch offers kept going strong.

The full text of the report is available at the McAfee Web site. Note: It’s in .PDF (Acrobat) format, so you’ll need a recent version of the Acrobat Reader to view it.

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