AOL victim of inside spam job

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 24, 2004

AOL employee arrested.

An AOL employee has been arrested and charged with selling the company's customer email list to spammers.

24-year-old AOL engineer Jason Smathers is accused of stealing at least 92 million screen names from AOL's database and selling the information to an associate, 21-year-old email marketer Sean Dunaway.

Dunaway, who has also been arrested, is accused both of using the screen names to promote his own business and of selling the information on to other spammers - an initial list for $52,000 and a subsequent updated list for $32,000.

AOL said it discovered the theft during an investigation it carried out as part of legal action the company was taking against another large-scale spammer earlier this year.

A statement from the company read: "We deeply regret what has taken place and are thoroughly reviewing and strengthening our internal procedures as a result of this investigation and arrest."

Needless to say, as of yesterday, Smathers is no longer employed by AOL.

The news comes only shortly after AOL's joint proposal, as part of the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance, stated that spam cannot be stopped unless ISPs take responsibility for the problem.

Posted on 24 June 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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