This news feels too good to be true, and yet it is. McColo Corp., in San Jose, California, is a Web hosting service that had been identified by those savvy folks in the know as a bearer of bad things for some time now. These same sav-sters conducted their own studies and determined that up to 75% of all spam (der wha? 75% of all worldwide spam!) originated from McColo’s servers. Armed with this information, Security Fix over at the Washington Post contacted those companies that provide “pipe” from McColo to the internet at large. By Tuesday afternoon, both Global Crossing Hurricane Electric had cancelled McColo’s service, with Hurricane’s director of marketing flatly stating “[w]e shut them down.”
Since then, spam traffic has been cut by 65%. *pauses for reader to stop dancing around like Snoopy* I had, in fact, noticed a slight lessening, but my filters are already pretty good. I’m curious if any of you felt this before you knew it?
According to this article at the freakonomics blog, spam costs U.S. companies (alone!) $33 billion a year in lost productivity and, according to this study (it’s a pdf, beware!), likely generates far far less revenue than that for spammers. If ever there was a parasite, spam is it. Granted, given the relative inexpense of running botnets vs. the revenue achieved, it’s likely that someone will rise up and take McColo’s place. Still, it’s nice to know that the white hats out there are learning how to shoot back.