June 1, 2007 - Spam breaks to the upside

It's been a long time since we had a really good spam attack but finally we are seeing a good-old fashioned spam outbreak.

Ed Falk writes that a new breed of spam bots are relaying mail through ISPs.  If so, they're doing an exceptionally good job.  His post is dated May 30, and the day before is when we started seeing the increase in traffic.  On May 30, traffic was tracking 24% above the daily average for the past several weeks and yesterday (May 31) it was 34% above average.  In fact, yesterday represented our highest traffic totals ever other next to December 20, 2006.

Interestingly, our filters only saw an additional 5% more mail going through to the end user and it performed better yesterday than the day before (ie, it did better on the day that we saw more spam).  To me, this implies one of two things:

1. Antispam response times are getting quicker.
2. These spam bots are sending mostly the same spam from different sources.

This takes me back to the good old days of summer 2006 only this time we're better prepared.