Internet and e-mail policy and practice
including Notes on Internet E-mail


Click the comments link on any story to see comments or add your own.

Subscribe to this blog

RSS feed

Home :: Email

28 Dec 2006

Earthquake in Asia, Spam Plummets Email

An earthquake on Tueday near Taiwan caused widespread disruption to telephone and Internet networks. The quake affected an area of the sea bottom with a lot of undersea cables that broke, and since there is only a limited number of cable repair ships, it will take at least weeks to fish them up and splice them.

China and Korea were heavily affected, with most of their connectivity to the rest of the world cut off. Not surprisingly, this meant that the rest of the world got a lot less spam, too. Neither country is the haven for overt spammers that it used to be, but both have large broadband networks with vast numbers of virus controlled zombie computers. One large network in North America saw their mail from Korea drop by 90% and from China by 99%. Since the mail sent from those countries to the US is typically 99% spam and 1% legitimate mail, the earthquake's effect on e-mail was, to a first approximation, to get rid of a lot of spam. Brett Glass, a journalist who runs a small rural ISP in Wyoming, noted that if the affected countries dealt more effectively with their spam, they might not well have needed all of the capacity they'd lost.

China and Korea are not alone in sending 99% spam; I see many countries in Europe, South America, and elsewhere in Asia that are just as bad. It would be nice if this were a wakeup call to networks to deal with parasitic usage, but I'm not holding my breath.

posted at: 11:48 :: permanent link to this entry :: 1 comments
posted at: 11:48 ::
permanent link to this entry :: 1 comments

comments...        (Jump to the end to add your own comment)

Spam plummets?
Hi John,

Well, actually, Korea doesn't seem to have taken much of a hit according to our metrics (we move up to 2 million emails/day). China has - approximately a 93% drop.

However, "spam plummet"? Not really. The US is still pumping out three times as much junk as China was before the problems, and both France and Spain 50% more apiece.

At this point having China and Korea completely drop out of the spam sweepstakes is barely noticable in overall spam metrics.

Plummet? Not.

It'd plummet noticably (by about 50%) if the US's cables were cut ;-)

(by Chris Lewis 29 Dec 2006 01:17)

Add your comment...

Note: all comments require an email address to send a confirmation to verify that it was posted by a person and not a spambot. The comment won't be visible until you click the link in the confirmation. Unless you check the box below, which almost nobody does, your email won't be displayed, and I won't use it for other purposes.

Email: you@wherever (required, for confirmation)
Title: (optional)
Show my Email address
Save my Name and Email for next time


My other sites

Who is this guy?

Airline ticket info

Taughannock Networks

Other blogs

Dave Piscitello on Ransomware
57 days ago

A keen grasp of the obvious
My high security debit card
603 days ago

Related sites

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Network Abuse Clearinghouse

© 2005-2018 John R. Levine.
CAN SPAM address harvesting notice: the operator of this website will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages.