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Here’s your toothbrush, jerk - now get busy cleaning every building in the city

June 1, 2007

News item: Man described as 1 of world’s top 10 spammers arrested in US

A federal grand jury last week returned a 35-count indictment against Soloway charging him with mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Soloway pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to all charges after a judge determined that—even with four bank accounts seized by the government—he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer.

Soloway has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 (euro576,005) they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.  Prosecutors say Soloway used computers infected with malicious code to send out millions of junk e-mails since 2003. The computers are called ‘‘zombies’’ because owners typically have no idea their machines have been infected.

Very impressive:  catching the spammers involves both technical and financial investigation.  I think they’re a little optimistic in saying people will notice a difference in their inboxes.  Someone will take his place.  And for the economic damage he’s done, he won’t spend enough time in prison.

Categories: Geeky, Security
  1. June 1, 2007 at 09:28 | #1

    I would say lets grab our torches and pickets and march down and stone him or something, but it won’t do any good.  Just like throwing druggies in jail for the war on drugs.  Someone is always going to step in and take the place because the amount of money to be made is insane.

    We need to find a way to severely limit or decrease their financial opportunity.  Then there would be less of an incentive to proliferate spam.

  2. Abhilasha
    June 1, 2007 at 15:26 | #2

    Atleast its a start…if one spammer is punished, may be it would send a message to others following this guy and may reduce the amount of spam.

    Some action is better then nothing…..

    The only way spamming could be stopped would be to make it cost to send a mail.

  3. Ted
    June 2, 2007 at 07:06 | #3

    We need to find a way to severely limit or decrease their financial opportunity.  Then there would be less of an incentive to proliferate spam.

    Note that the guy was running this as a business: Newport Internet Marketing Corp.

    We are in the US, where business interests take primacy over individual privacy or individual interests. So look at the Spamhaus case from last year.

    Specifically note the e360 case where the US courts sided with the spammers because the courts would rather spam than inhibit marketing. ICANN was called in to side with the spammers by revoking the namespace of the spam killer mechanism. [url=“http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-10oct06.htm”ICANN refused claiming no authority to do so yet.

    The point is, you get spam, because spam is good for you, and good for the economy. All these protestations fro Bill Gates is just so much bullsh*t. There have been <a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-spam_techniques_(e-mail)”>numerous suggestions[/url] to alter the SMTP technical mechanisms to make spamming harder, but most have fallen by the wayside due to business interest pressures—they’d need to change their software packages and support infrastructure changes using an open mechanism. They don’t want to do that because they want their products, with proprietary technology to define the accepted standards.

  4. June 2, 2007 at 07:48 | #4

    My grandfather used to say; “If you’re going to steal, steal a million.  Less than that isn’t worth your time.”  If there is any truly sacred cow in American society, it is “business”.  Even the worst “business” offenders get little more than a slap on the wrist compared to individuals who commit relatively small-scale crimes.

    Still, it’s nice to see Soloway getting some comeuppance. Occasionally we win one.  (Prediction: he’ll be back on the street in 3 years)

  5. Bruce Boeck
    June 4, 2007 at 13:42 | #5

    I think his sentance should be life, no electronics at all…and all he gets to eat is SPAM! (cue up the Monty Python song here).

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