UC Davis shares midweek plunge in spam volume

Maybe it's a coincidence. But on Nov. 12, after a Web-hosting firm that allegedly engaged in spam activity was taken offline, the total number of "high spam" messages sent to UC Davis email servers plunged to 184,000--down about 70 percent from 614,000 on Nov. 11.

"Immediately after McColo [the firm] was unplugged, security companies charted a precipitous drop in spam volumes worldwide," reports a Washington Post article (registration required). "E-mail security firm IronPort said spam levels fell by roughly 66 percent as of Tuesday evening."

Other reasons could explain the drop at UC Davis--other anti-spam measures at work, an end to the recent "Obama impeached" phishing deluge from .gov addresses, even the fact that Tuesday was a federal holiday.

Also, the amount of spam varies by user. The 184,000 figure refers to spam messages hitting the front end of the UC Davis system, not the amount that reaches users' mailboxes. Users with a low filter setting or a widely circulated email address, for example, are more likely to get spam.

Nor are spammers likely to give up and go away. But for a day or so at least, UC Davis is getting less of it.

Everyone receiving email via one of the central campus email servers is automatically enrolled in the UC Davis spam filtering service. You can view and change your spam filtering settings at any time. To learn more about campus email in general, click here.