Rustock Botnet: One Year Later

Spam volumes at lowest point in years

March 14, 2012

1 Min Read


Berlin, March 14, 2012 – The Rustock botnet, which had been responsible for a large percentage of global pharmaceutical spam and primarily controlled bots in Western Europe and the USA, was shut down on March 16, 2011. As a result, spam levels decreased by over 60% within 24 hours. One year later, the Research Team at eleven, leading German e-mail security provider, analyzed the consequences of the Rustock takedown and has summarized the most important ramifications.

Spam, malware, and phishing occurrence

Spam levels in February 2012 were 61.2% below the value from February 2011, thus putting them at approximately the same level as immediately after the Rustock shutdown. Spam volumes temporarily increased in the fourth quarter of 2011, but then collapsed again just as quickly. By contrast, the number of dangerous e-mails has increased significantly. Malware e-mails increased by 50.5% since February 2011 and virus outbreaks more than doubled (107.0%).

Phishing e-mails saw the largest jump, increasing by 145.0% between February

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