Return of the Living Spam: 150,000 Zombies Created Daily, McAfee Says

By August 03, 2009 3 comments

If spam were the economy, all would be golden. “If the economy could rebound as spam has done in second quarter, we would all be much happier with our retirement accounts,” according to the Q2 McAfee Threats Report (PDF), which notes that, after recovering from the high profile shutdown of the McColo botnet last November, spam has increased nearly 80 percent over Q1. Spam and zombies -- hijacked computers -- reached record levels in Q2. Fourteen million new zombies were found by McAffee during this quarter, meaning that more than 150,000 new zombies were created each


“With this type of zombie-creation trend in motion, we can easily predict that spam volumes will rise in the next quarter,” according to the report.

The U.S. retains the dubious distinction of being the world’s spam leader. Of global Q2 spam, 25.5 percent originated in the U.S., followed by Brazil (9.8), Turkey (5.8), India (5.6) and Poland (4.9). While responsible for more than a quarter of the world’s spam, the amount originating in the U.S. actually dropped ten percent from Q4 2008 and Q1 2009 levels.

The report also highlights the growing concern over social-network security, noting a naïve trust in the social web, the key repository of our online data and identity whose viral nature makes it an easy platform through which to spread malevolent code.

“It’s unfortunate that many people feel so at home with the interactive Web 2.0 experience that they forget the basics of online security,” according to the report. “Once attackers gain access to account credentials, they have full access to the victims’ friends and can launch all sorts of mischief.”

“This phenomenon gives new meaning to the term ‘friendly fire,’” according to the report.

Page top


[...] Return of the Living Spam: 150,000 Zombies Created Daily, McAfee Says [...]

Submitted by Being online – danger lurks around every corner (not verified) - on August 11, 2009 at 07:30 pm

I really dont understand the marketing allure of spam mail. I mean I dont know anyone who actually clicks on that crap. In fact everyone I know get down right pissed when the spam hits. It does the opposite of what its trying to do. Making people mad is no way to sell product. But hey I guess they are shooting for the 1% of people who really were looking for viagra or that fake rolex watch for $19.95

Submitted by John (not verified) - on August 04, 2009 at 08:26 am

Yeah, the ROI is amazingly small, like one in 10,000 or something like that. There's little overhead, though. I agree that it's amazing that people still buy it. One recent study said more than 10 percent of people do, but... Since must of the spam is from pharmaceutical companies, maybe it's people with no prescription coverage trying to get affordable deals?

If you're interested, this is a really good analysis of a spam campaign by ZDNet's Jennifer Leggio:

Submitted by Mark (not verified) - on August 04, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas