Terry Zink: Security Talk

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Hotmail seeing a slowdown in traffic also

Hotmail seeing a slowdown in traffic also

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I have noted that in the past 5 months, the total amount of mail that we are seeing in the Exchange Hosted Services network is decreasing slowly but steadily.  I wasn't sure if this was a common trend (since the antispam articles I read all say spam is on the rise) or if it was localized in my neck of the woods.

I checked some Hotmail statistics today and it is the same over there; the trend is not as noticeable but even they are seeing a gradual slowdown in the amount of traffic they filter.  I wonder if Yahoo or Gmail are seeing the same thing?

Let's assume for a minute that the trend is true and that it is not localized to Microsoft.  What could be causing this slowdown in spam traffic?  Less profitability from people not paying anymore?  Virus writers not being as successful in getting products deployed (ie, better anti-viruses)?  China clamping down on spammers?  Something else?

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  • Just curious, how do you know the decrease in traffic is due to a decrease in spam and not in general usage?

  • I don't know it for certain.  However, we have seen some week-over-week changes in traffic of 15%.  I think that is unlikely to have occurred by a decline in usage but it's possible.

  • Hotmail's traffic is probably slowing down because their filtering f'ing stinks so bad that users lose half their inbound mail, so people are just going elsewhere and telling people not to email them there any more.

    Frankly I'm fed up with telling people they need to whitelist me to allow my mail into hotmail. Instead I tell people to move their account to gmail or yahoo instead.

  • Umm, in addition to that rant, yes volumes of spam are down. See last year's trend. It'll spike again in September when all those freshman put their infected and unprotected laptops onto the net.

  • Heh, heh... good one, Matt (about the freshmen, not about the Hotmail rant).

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