Prolific spammer indicted

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 1, 2008

Notorious spammer Alan Ralsky charged with spamming and stock fraud.

Infamous prolific spammer Alan Ralsky has been indicted over his alleged involvement in an international spamming and stock fraud scheme.

Charges against Ralsky, who has long topped Spamhaus's Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) list, and ten others - including Ralsky's son-in-law - were brought at the start of this month as the culmination of a three-year investigation led by the FBI in collaboration with the US Postal Service and Internal Revenue Service.

Investigators say that the defendants had been running a sophisticated and large-scale spamming operation that focused on a stock pump-and-dump scheme involving Chinese penny stocks. According to the indictment the defendants used a range of illegal techniques to send their spam and avoid detection by spam filters including: the use of falsified email headers, the use of proxy relay machines, the use of falsely registered domain names and misrepresentations in the advertising content of email messages. It is estimated that the defendants earned approximately $3 million during the summer of 2005 as a result of their illegal spamming activities. US Attorney Stephen J. Murphy described the indictment as: 'seek[ing] to knock out one of the largest illegal spamming and fraud operations in the country'.

The 41-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy, fraud in connection with electronic mail (under the CAN SPAM Act), computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. In December 2003, Ralsky was reported to have said that the passage of the then heavily criticized US CAN SPAM Act through the House of Representatives 'made [his] day' - perhaps now he will re-evaluate his feelings.

Posted on 05 January 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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