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Alleged spam gang indicted

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday January 6, 2008 )

11 men have been indicted in the USA for alleged spam related activities, including “Spam King” Alan Ralsky, who was listed on SpamHaus’s Top 10 Worst Spammers for some time.

The 41 charges arose after a three-year investigation and “seek to knock out one of the largest illegal spamming and fraud operations in the country” according to U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy.

The alleged spamming operation largely focused on running a stock pump and dump scheme.

Evasion strategies used including the use of false email headers, using proxy computers to relay the spam, falsely registered domain names and texts within the body of the emails to get around content filters. The indictment also alleges botnets were used – i.e. where user’s computers are hijacked without their knowledge and then used to act as a conduit for relaying spam.

The charges include conspiracy, fraud in connection with the CAN SPAM act, computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to law enforcement. Wow, that’s got to carry some heavy time.

According to the Department of Justice, 2 defendants were arrested on January 3, another on January 2 and the remaining defendants are still being sought.

Needless to say, many are rejoicing, including the team at SpamHaus who had a particular dislike for Mr Ralsky

And here I was thinking that the penny stock spammers were just on holiday, spending up big :). Unfortunately, no doubt some contenders are standing in line, ready to take their place.

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