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Friday, August 5, 2011

Spam King could get 40 years for 27 million Facebook messages

Sanford Wallace has been around for a long time. Ever since I can remember anyone talking about spam. And I've been involved in the internet since the days of Usenet (curses, that'll date me somewhat). He seems to keep at it, no matter what is thrown at him.

There are really so few cases where the authorities actually pursue spammers, so I thought I'd post this. But I wonder if it's more about that Sanford seems to continue to insist on living in the United States. He'd probably be pretty untouchable if he chose a more remote location. And also the authorities maybe wanting us to believe they are actually trying to pursue the massive problem of spamming. Ole' Sanford will be back.

A Las Vegas man accused of sending more than 27 million spam messages to Facebook users faces federal fraud and computer tampering charges that could send him to prison for more than 40 years, according to a grand jury indictment.

Sanford Wallace, the self-proclaimed "Spam King," pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance Thursday after being indicted July 6 on six counts of electronic mail fraud, three counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and two counts of criminal contempt.

The indictment filed in San Jose federal court said Wallace compromised about 500,000 Facebook accounts between November 2008 and March 2009 by sending massive amounts of spam through the company's servers on three separate occasions.

Wallace would collect Facebook user account information by sending "phishing" messages that tricked users of the social networking site into providing their passwords, the indictment said.

He would then use that information to log into their accounts and post spam messages on their friends' Facebook walls, the indictment said. Those who clicked on the link, thinking it came from their friend, were redirected to websites that paid Wallace for the Internet traffic.

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