51 Month Prison Sentence for Spammer Ralsky
Few things get the ire of computer folks more than spammers. Even spammers hate getting spam.
What's even worse than spam though is when nefarious techniques including using zobmie PCs (those computers whose security has been compromised by a trojan, worm, or virus to do their bidding, typically without the owners knowledge) to send the spam.
According to the latest conviction, that's what spam "Godfather" Alan M. Ralsky did though.
Washington Post's Security Focus Blog brings us news of the Spam Godfather's Sentence saying,
"Ralsky, 64, of West Bloomfield, Mich., joined two co-conspirators in earning stiff prison sentences for long careers of blasting junk e-mail.
"Following more than four years in prison, Ralsky will be subject to five years of supervised release and will forfeit $250,000 the government seized from him in December 2007, the Justice Department said."
While it's great news for anyone in PC security when someone like finally gets caught, it's especially good news when the dragnet also ensnares cohorts as this one did, naming a total of 10 co-conspirators in the original federal grand jury indictment, including
Ralsky and 10 others from China, Canada, Hong Kong and Russia in a 41-count indictment for wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and violations of the CAN-SPAM Act.
The three things that make the way they were spamming (at least the way they were spamming according to Spamhaus.org), especially egregious were,
|What they did...||Why it was especially egregious...|
|1.||Sent spam. Lots and lots and lots. And lots of spam.||Does anyone like spam?|
|2.||Used "zombie" PCs to send spam.||
If your drive crashed or network card or modem died because of the extra use and had to be replaced, it's your expense to do so. It cost the group nothing for your trouble.
|3.||Sent stock "pump-and-dump" spams.||
According to the government, Ralsky was a top promoter of so-called pump-and-dump scams...
Now, we all should know better than to open spam to begin with, but for those many people who did and who bought any of the stocks touted by the group, many of these victims had very real financial losses.
It's anyone's guess as to how much.
It's because of groups like these that we all need antispam software and antivirus software to begin with.
We're glad to see yet another spam group get ensnared, making PC security--and the spam in our inboxes--a bit better for us all, and while it took a while, we're glad they finally got their just desserts.
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