The month of October has been the highest ever in terms of overall volume. We set a record on on October 18, and we broke it on October 24. To put this in perspective, our volume yesterday was 47% higher than the average daily volume for all of September. If this were the stock market, ticker SPAM would be making new highs every week. If this were the stock market and I had invested in it, I'd be making a fortune.
The sudden increase in volume has challenged assumptions about the nature of email. It used to be that good mail account for 10-15% of all mail. Now, I'd say that it's maybe 5%. Furthermore, the increase of spam expands the way we think about handling it - users are going to start getting lots of spam in their quarantines or junk folders, what happens if spammers send so much mail that disk space gets used up? Can servers handle the sheer volume of mail? And will the crash survivors ever get off the island?
These are the types of issues that spammers are forcing our hands with and these issues simply were non-existent 6 months ago. They were non-existent 2 months ago. This is a fast changing business and the rate of change is increasing. Anti-spam companies need to be able to respond to the changing nature of the threat almost instantaneously.