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Notorious Spam King Gets 4 Years in Prison

Robert Soloway, dubbed the "Spam King", who was charged with defrauding people through tens of millions of spam has been given four years in prison for mail fraud, electronic mail fraud, and failing to file a tax return. According to recent reports, federal prosecutors allege that from November 2003 to May 2007, Soloway sent tens of millions of email messages to advertise his company, which offered software to send out broadcast emails. For $495 customers could have an ad sent to 20,000,000 emails, or receive software allowing them to send up to 80,000,000 e-mails. Judge Marsha Pechman said laws governing Spam are very new territory for the courts, and the CAN-SPAM Act allows for only a maximum sentence of only five years. more»

Switzerland Leapfrogged Hong Kong as the Most Spammed Country, Says Recent Study

According to the most recent MessageLabs Intelligence monthly report, Switzerland has become the most spanned nation. From the report: "In June, Switzerland leapfrogged Hong Kong as the most spammed country with levels reaching 84.8% of all email. Many countries received a slight decrease in spam levels, with a few increases elsewhere, for example, spam in UAE rose by 7.4%, the highest increase this month. Spam levels in the US reached 68.8% in June, 77.8% in Canada and 74.3% in the UK. Germany's spam rate reached 73.5% and 73.2% in the Netherlands. Spam levels in Australia were 66.9%, 76.6% in China and 70.7% in Japan." more»

Soloway Court Case Reveals the Sophisticated World of Online Fraud

Testimony received during the sentencing hearing for notorious spammer Robert Alan Soloway has offered an inside look at the big business of online fraud. Although anti-spam efforts implemented by ISPs have deterred many small-time spammers, sophisticated players remain active and they have developed tools to make their efforts easier. From the stand on Monday, investigators revealed some of the techniques that Soloway allegedly used to send out massive amounts of email. After the government seized Soloway's computer servers, investigators found files with as many as 10 million email addresses on each server along with Dark Mailer software on each server. more»

Gmail Collaborate With eBay and PayPal to Fight Phishing

Google has recently announced that it has succeeded in working with eBay and PayPal, also owned by eBay, to fight phishing by using authentication standards DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). According to Google, this is the main tool used by Gamil to keep spam out of its inboxes. However, Brad Taylor, Google's Software said in a blog post, that "these systems can only be effective when high volume senders consistently use them to sign their mail -- if they're sending some mail without signatures, it's harder to tell whether it's phishing or not. Well, I'm happy to announce today that by working with eBay and PayPal, we're one step closer to stopping all phishing messages in their tracks." Google hopes this will set a good example for other organizations to follow suit and work towards making email trustworthy. more»

Security Experts Caution Against Latest Strom Warm Campaign Claiming U.S Invasion of Iran

Recent blast of emails linked to Strom Warm attempt to exploit client-side vulnerabilities by stating that the U.S. army has invaded Iran. The email is also reported to contain links to videos. The text reads:

“Just now US Army’s Delta Force and U.S. Air Force have invaded Iran. Approximately 20000 soldiers crossed the border into Iran and broke down the Iran’s Army resistance. The video made by US soldier was received today morning. Click on the video to see first minutes of the beginning of the World War III. God save us.” more»

Antispam Group, MAAWG, Outlines Defenses Against Botnet-Induced Spam

A major antispam organization is pushing a set of new best practices for ISPs to stop increasing volumes of spam from botnets. The guidelines, from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), were drawn up at a meeting in Germany last week and deal with forwarded email and email that is sent from dynamic IP addresses. From MAAWG's news release issued yesterday... more»

Cyberattack Paralyzed Marshall Islands Email Service

Email communication in the Marshall Islands was paralysed Tuesday after hackers launched a "zombie" computer attack on the western Pacific nation's only Internet service provider, AFP reports. The attack started early Tuesday, in which hackers used zombie computers to flood country's only Internet service provider with spam emails, causing a complete shutdown of email traffic into the nation of around 55,000 people. more»

Anti-Spam Law Violates Free Speech Protections, Says Virginia Court Appeal

A lawyer for Jeremy Jaynes, a man once considered one of the world's most prolific email spammers, has urged the Virginia Supreme Court to strike down a state anti-spam law, arguing it violates free speech protections under the First Amendment. more»

ICANN Responds to "Worst Spam Offenders" and the Recent Knujon Report

ICANN has made an official announcement following earlier reports which suggested domain names registered by most spam sites where linked to a handful of domain registrars. From the ICANN Annoucement: "ICANN has sent enforcement notices and notices of concern to certain registrars, including those reported this week as being the registrars for the majority of websites advertised in spam emails... more»

Serious Gmail Flaw: Security Group Demonstrates Sending Unlimited Spam Using Google's Own Servers

Researchers at Information Security Research Team (INSERT) have dissevered a serious flaw in Google's Gmail service. The group demonstrates how anyone with no special Internet access privileges other than being able to connect to SMTP (TCP port 25) and HTTP (TCP port 80) servers is able to exploit a single Gmail account in order to be granted nearly unrestricted access to Google's massive whitelisted SMTP relay infrastructure. Read more from the report... more»

Significant Chunk of IP Address Space Hijacked by Notorious Mass Emailing Company

Internet address space long ago issued to San Francisco Bay Packet Radio, an organization that was involved way back in the 1970s in testing ARPANET, a predecessor to the global commercial Internet that we all use today. That organization was given the rights to do whatever it wanted with 134.17.0.0/16 address block. That entire swath of Internet space is now registered to an entity in Westminster, Colo., called SF Bay Packet Radio LLC, but except for a similar name, this company has no relation to San Francisco Bay Packet Radio... ? more»

Spam Turns 30

Thirty years ago next week, Gary Thuerk, a marketer at the now-defunct computer firm Digital Equipment Corporation, sent an email to 393 users of Arpanet, the US government-run computer network that eventually became the internet. It was the first spam email ever. That commercial message, sent on 3 May 1978, drew a swift and negative reaction. more»

15 Years Ago Joel Furr Referred to Unsolicited Bulk Messages as 'Spam'

Spam continues to blight email exactly 15 years after the term was first coined and almost 30 years since the first spam message was sent. The term is thought to have been coined by Joel Furr, an administrator on the net discussion system Usenet, to refer to unsolicited bulk messages. Mr Furr first used the term to refer to bulk postings on discussion boards on the internet but in the years to come spam became associated with email. Today, more than 90% of all email is spam, according to anti-spam body Spamhaus. more»

Email Address Typosquatting Posing Serious Leakage Threat

During the Black Hat DC 2008 security conference, security researchers urged companies and political organizations to put more effort into registering mis-typed versions of their primary domain names. In addition to protecting visitors to websites, this is also to prevent emails from accidentally leaking out... As part of an investigation, researchers from Symantec registered 124 domains consisting of common misspellings of the primary domains of candidates in the U.S. presidential election. As reported, in a strictly controlled experiment, a mail server was used to count the number of email messages sent to the misspelled domains, finding 1,121 connection attempts from 12 distinct IP addresses in a 24-hour period. more»

European Spam Networks Continue to Surpass Those in U.S.

European spam networks have pumped out more unsolicited email than those in the U.S. for the third month in a row, according to security vendor Symantec. This movement is called a "significant shift" in spam trends as, historically, compromised U.S. computers have been used to send spam, and many spammers have been U.S.-based. Security experts suspect gangs are taking advantage of the increasing European broadband market. more»