In early November, the spammers started to send Christmas spam in earnest. This Christmas-related spike is nothing new – increased overall volumes of spam in the run-up to Christmas is a yearly phenomenon. However, what is different this year is the sheer scale of the problem. By the end of November the volume of Christmas spam had grown enormously, to the point where it accounted for nearly 10% of all spam traffic. The spammers are flogging the usual assortment of meds, Rolex watches, toys and handbags, touting them as ideal gifts for Christmas. In fact, the net result is a huge resurgence in Rolex watch spam, a type which had become much less commonplace in recent times.
Looking at the overall picture, spam volumes as a whole have risen to record levels in the final few months of 2006. The initial rise in October was related to high level of virus activity, and in particular the Stration worm. Couple this with the traditional spike before Christmas, and we are now faced with spam volumes which are nearly triple what they were several months back.