Was it my imagination, or was it real, that the size of my junk-mail box had gotten less over last week? I seem to be missing (the irony of it all) all those mails exhorting the use of various pills to make my ‘partner deliriously happy’ and the use of one’s ‘tool’ to perform wonders which defy medical science.
Global spam levels have dropped by as much as 75 per cent following the shutdown of a US web host that provided the backbone for most of the world’s spam. The web host, McColo, based in California, counted customers including “international firms and syndicates that are involved in everything from the remote management of millions of compromised computers to the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and designer goods, fake security products and child pornography via email”, The Washington Post reported.
For those techies, spammers typically use botnets of hacked computers that they surreptitiously control and use to send their spam messages. This makes it harder for them to be traced and allows spammers to harness the internet bandwidth of potentially hundreds of thousands of computers.
This appeared to be part of a multinational swoop coordinated by Interpol in nine countries targeted against internet drug peddlers. Interpol’s internet message is simple: Do not buy prescription-only medicines over the Internet without a prescription.
I can only reiterate this message because there’s no way you can prove the drugs are safe and effective. In many cases they can be harmful, when unknown chemicals may be added.
However, as in some cancers, the drop in junk mails is expected to be a temporary lull as spammers adapt and find new areas to set up their operations again, possibly in Eastern Europe. Will the cancer spread again? Will spam, the scourge of the Internet, make its reappearance?