Posts Tagged 'spammers'

Will Spam be the end of the Internet?

Everyday it’s the same thing. An email box full up of messages, 90% of which is spam. Remember back in the day when you used get excited when you got snail mail? With email … not so much. Would it surprise you that 97% of all email is spam? In fact I have several email accounts for this exact reason, to avoid spam. However it forces me to keep a schedule. Logging in each account to check for spam and delete it. Forget a few days and it inconveniences me to delete everything. Go on vacation and you might as well close that email account because legitimate emails have already been bouncing because your email was full within a day. Despite a few notable arrests and charges, spammers are not deterred. Sadly it’s just a part of daily life when you’re living with the Internet. However, it’s unbelievable that it only takes a handful of bad apples to ruin something so incredibly useful. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe so I can spam you.

Symantec: spammers targetting tax filers

As reported in the February State of Spam report, we have observed spammers disguising themselves as the IRS and dangling an offer of a tax refund to unwitting recipients. That is, a refund made available once you input your credit card information into their site. A site that does not bear the IRS URL. A site that is fraudulent and nothing more than a collection tool for credit card and other personal information. And while we are still seeing this, we have recently observed a few new types of spam in relation to tax season. This spam being of a more sinister type as it directs you to download a virus.

In one example, the spammer indicates that a new law requires you to download tax software. Well, that in itself is ridiculous because taxes are traditionally done on paper and there is no existing law stating that you need a computer for your taxes in the first place. If that wasn’t a red flag, the site that you actually download the “software” from is not a government site. Instead, it is merely an IP address. (symantec)

Spam is not free speech, says the Supreme Court

Virginia’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld the first US felony conviction for spamming. The spammer will serve nine years in prison for sending what authorities believe to be millions of messages over a two-month period in 2003.

Jeremy Jaynes is the man who will make history. A Raleigh, North Carolina, resident who made Spamhaus’ top 10 list of spammers, Jaynes was arrested in 2003 even before the CAN SPAM act was passed by Congress. Jaynes was convicted in 2005, but his lawyers appealed the conviction. This past Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld that conviction, but the vote was a narrow 4-3.

The prosecution presented evidence of over 53,000 illegal e-mails that Jaynes sent over just three days during July, 2003, but it is believed that he sent 10 million messages per day between July and August of that year. Though he is a North Carolina resident, Jaynes was charged in Virginia because the AOL servers he used for sending spam were located in Loudoun County, Virginia. (link)

Spammers to be punished: once in court, the other in jail

More big-time spammers may find themselves doing longer stretches behind bars if a federal judge’s first-of-its-kind sentencing decision in a Denver case becomes widely applied.

At issue in this case, which featured testimony from Microsoft anti-spam experts, was the thorny matter of determining the actual financial harm to ISPs done by a particular spammer over a particular period of time. When Congress enacted the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 it anticipated this difficulty and included language allowing for a spammer’s profits to be considered in sentencing when financial damages caused by his crimes could not reasonably be calculated.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock accepted a Colorado prosecutor’s contention that this case, the United States vs. Min Kim, represented just such a situation. Microsoft says this is the first time a judge has applied CAN-SPAM sentencing guidelines in this manner. (link)


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