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Plug Pulled On Grum, Responsible for 18 Percent of All Internet Spam

Grum, a spam botnet behind 18 percent of the world's spam, has been shut down by security experts.


Have you stopped receiving unsolicited emails about penis enlargement surgery? There's a good reason for that. Grum, the world's third-largest spam botnet, has been taken down by computer security experts. Grum is essentially a network of infected computers used by cyber criminals to send spam to millions of people, the New York Times reported. Security experts say that Grum is responsible for 18 percent of global spam. Before Grum was killed, it was sending 18 billion spam messages each day.

Grum's control servers were based in Panama, Russia and Ukraine, BBC News reported.

Atif Mushtaq, the senior staff scientist at security firm FireEye, announced in a blog post Wednesday that after a long struggle, Grum had finally died. "Grum's takedown resulted from the efforts of many individuals," Mushtaq wrote. "This collaboration is sending a strong message to all the spammers: 'Stop sending us spam. We don't need your cheap Viagra or fake Rolex.'"

To shut Grum down, FireEye collaborated with security experts across the globe. The experts had to pressure local ISPs to help them suspend the operation, the BBC said.

But given how advanced Grum was, is it possible that it can come back to life? Not in its current form, Mushtaq told the Times: "They’d have to start an entirely new campaign and infect hundreds of thousands of new machines to get something like Grum started again.”