Spam levels drop following Pricewert shutdown

By on June 9, 2009, 4:33 PM
It's been almost a week since the Federal Trade Commission dropped the hammer on Pricewert LLC, a rogue ISP accused of all sorts of wrongdoings, and indeed it seems the takedown has had an immediate impact on the level of spam sent worldwide. According to multiple sources around the web, spam levels have declined as much as fifteen percent since last week, with notorious botnets Cutwail and Pushdo apparently being among those affected by this move.

Pricewert, which operated under various names including 3FN and APS Telecom, is accused of actively recruiting, hosting and participating in the distribution of spam, child pornography, malware and other illegal, malicious, or harmful content. While itís good to see at least something is being done against these scourges, the results from the Pricewert takedown are not expected to be as dramatic as last yearís shutdown of McColo. In fact, following that incident, spammers may have put better backup systems in place to maintain control of their botnets of hacked computers.

The criminals who utilized the ISPís services will undoubtedly find new willing partners somewhere else. Pricewert has not yet been convicted of any unlawful activity, but a first hearing is scheduled for June 15.

User Comments: 2

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Guest said:

I wish some would do something about Nigerian scammers! I wish there was away to make the country of Nigeria accountable.

Guest said:

Every morning my webmail spam folder contains 20-30 messages. From 75-90% come with the subject line in Cyrillic. I have no reason to expect any of this email to be useful.

I do not read Cyrillic. Well, I can transliterate one character at a time. Once I have Russian in Latin letters, with the help of a dictionary, I have managed to translate a few chemical procedures thoroughly enough to reproduce the experiment described.

Here is a quick question for more tech savvy readers.

Do message headers with their subject lines in Cyrillic contain ASCII codes that are unique to the letters? It seems to me that they must. If this is the case, why can't I ask my ISP to set a filter that bounces as undeliverable (rather than trapping for me to delete) any messages with Cyrillic header content?

Am I naive in expecting a spammer to remove my address from his file if he keeps getting bounce messages back?



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