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The Unintended Consequences of Attacking Spam

In what Wired calls a botnet “explosion,” botnets have taken control of about 12 million new IP addresses since the beginning of the year. (That’s according to a report by the anti-virus firm McAfee.) The number of zombie computers — those overtaken by a hacker, trojan horse, etc. — have increased 50 percent since last year. What spurred the increase? McAfee researchers say the catalyst was the shut-down of a major spam-hosting facility last year that dropped spam levels to about 60 percent but sent botnet controllers out to collect new zombies for their networks — which, the report predicts, should bring spam levels back up in no time. [%comments]