Attacks/Breaches
11/24/2009
05:38 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'Godfather Of Spam' Gets Four Years In Prison

Prosecutors hope the prison sentence sends a message to spammers.

Notorious spammer Alan M. Ralsky, from West Bloomfield, Mich., was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Monday for his involvement in a stock fraud spam scheme.

Three of his associates -- Ralsky's son-in-law Scott Bradley, also from West Bloomfield, John S. Bown, from Fresno, Calif., and How Wai John Hui, a resident of Hong Kong and Canada -- also received prison sentences.

Bradley and Hui received 51 month sentences, like Ralsky, while Bown received a 32 month sentence.

Indicted in December 2007, the four men subsequently pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, and CAN-SPAM Act violations, among other charges.

"With today's sentence of the self-proclaimed 'Godfather of Spam,' Alan Ralsky, and three others who played central roles in a complicated stock spam pump-and-dump scheme, the Court has made it clear that advancing fraud through abuse of the Internet will lead to several years in prison," said U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg for the Eastern District of Michigan in a statement.

Berg commended the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, and the IRS Criminal Investigative Division for their respective roles in the three-year investigation that halted the illegal spamming.

The pump-and-dump scheme involved sending spam messages to promote the sale of "pink sheet" stocks, thereby artificially inflating the price so that prior holders of the stock could sell for a profit.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer declared that the sentences handed down to Ralsky and his associates send "a powerful message to spammers whose goal is to manipulate financial transactions and the stock market through illegal e-mail advertisements."

Google in October reported that while Q3'09 average spam levels were down 8% from Q2'09, the overall number of spam bytes processed per user has grown, with Q3'09 rates up 123% from Q3'08.

In other words, the decline in the number of spam messages has been more than made up for by the increase in the size of spam messages.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-discovery. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-3828
Published: 2014-10-22
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Centreon 2.5.1 and Centreon Enterprise Server 2.2 allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via (1) the index_id parameter to views/graphs/common/makeXML_ListMetrics.php, (2) the sid parameter to views/graphs/GetXmlTree.php, (3) the session_id...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.