Spam takes a shot to the gut – but will recover

This is a good news – bad news story. Spam got clobbered last week, but it will probably recover.

At roughly 4:30 p.m. Eastern time last Tuesday, the volume of junk e-mail arriving at inboxes around the world suddenly plummeted by at least 65 percent, an unprecedented drop caused by what is believed to be a single, simple act.

According to security experts, one Silicon Valley based computer firm was playing host to computers of various organizations that controlled the distribution of much of the world’s spam. Confronted with evidence tracing the spam activity back to the hosting firm, McColo Corp., Internet service providers pulled the plug, severing McColo’s online connections.

Didn’t notice a change? (I did.) But if you didn’t, thank your internet service provider:

Not everyone has seen fewer spam messages in their inboxes after McColo’s shutdown. Adam O’Donnell, director of emerging technologies at Cloudmark, an e-mail security company in San Francisco, said those who did not see a drop in spam from the McColo shutdown likely subscribe to an Internet service provider that already does an effective job blocking 99 percent of junk e-mail.

“People who had really good systems in place probably didn’t benefit from this, while those who had more marginal spam filter protection likely saw a significant drop off in spam,” O’Donnell said.

Man, I do hate spam, primarily because I think the internet is a great thing and I hate it when greedy bastards tromp all over a great thing for their own selfish advantage. But i have to admit, the rest of this Washington Post story delves into the inner gurglings of the internet that go way beyond my knowledge and interest. However, if you feel differently, read it all here.