November 14th, 2008


A small victory over spam

Giant "evil" hosting organization McColo was disconnected by both its network service providers yesterday. It's almost horrifying to imagine a hosting company that actively marketed itself as a safe haven for spammers, botnet command-and-control, malware distribution, and child pornography.

McColo used Hurricane Electric and Global Crossing as network providers, both of which responded to increasing pressure from the community and the press to act. Both did so on Tuesday, and this company is now off the net completely, at least for now.

The resulting impact on the amount of Internet-wide spam has been stunning. Some data shows that nearly HALF of ALL spam came from this company, either directly or as a result of command-and-control of botnets worldwide. The effect was obvious on our own spam control system, as demonstrated by these performance graphs.

We can certainly hope that this impact is at least semi-permanent, but this kind of illegal scam/spam/botnet stuff is just too lucrative for the people running them to just roll over and take this. But at least for now, it's fun to gloat over the demise of McColo.