Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

A rarity - I'm proven wrong!

A rarity - I'm proven wrong!

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The other day, I posted that the Christmas season is upon us and that there has not been a major correlation between an expected rise in Christmas spam and the actual spam that we are seeing on our networks.

However, I believe that I have now seen such evidence.  Last Friday, December 14, we experienced our highest traffic day ever.  It was 28% higher than our previous record holder!  That is huge!  Furthermore, Saturday, December 15 was our second highest day ever, 7% higher than the earlier record holder.

How do I know that this does not correspond to us getting a huge influx of new customers?  I know this because our total delivery count to end users remained constant.  In fact, on the Friday, we actually had a better-than-average spam day (ie, we filtered a little bit more spam than we normally do).  Saturday didn't look as great but my projected legitimate numbers for weekends seem out of whack.  But, it still looked to be a normal day.  In other words, spammers hit us harder but we didn't even flinch.

This sudden burst of spam has to be explained by something.  Either spammers were sending around a large burst of Christmas spam or there was a new botnet that just came online.  I'm going to attribute it to a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.  So, while I may have been wrong about not seeing any Christmas spam, on the bright side, we handled it rather well!

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