With the arrest of Oleg Nikolaenko, the young Russian responsible for billions of spam messages each day, the world is wondering what it would be like with one-third less spam.
There are over 250 billion email messages sent each day. With 86,400 seconds in a day, that’s about 3 million email messages a second. Conservatively, 80% is spam. That means that 2.5 million emails each second are spam. Many of those emails are caught by spam filters, but the spam that makes it to inboxes still cause major problems. Spam is profitable and despite the repeated warnings, people still click on spam.
Ordering pharmaceuticals or fake Rolex watches from spam hurts you in two ways. First, they take your money for the item and you get an empty box if you get anything at all. And second, you can be highjacked and become part of the botnet. A botnet is like the Borg for computers. Your computer is taken over and does what it is commanded to do – send more spam!
Botnets sound like science-fiction, but they do exist and have attacked millions of computers. Most infections occur on home or small business computers and start with a computer that does not have an adequate firewall or anti-malware protection. At one time, Oleg’s Mega-D botnet had over a hundred thousand infected computers sending billions of spam messages each day.
So will the world see a reduction in spam? Probably not, but it does give pleasure to all the haters-of-spam that at least one culprit is behind bars. For now, he’s being held without bail. I don’t know if Federal prisons still serve Spam, but he could develop a newfound love for fried Spam, Spam sandwiches and Spam with eggs.