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
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5426
Published: 2014-11-27
MatrikonOPC OPC Server for DNP3 1.2.3 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (unhandled exception and DNP3 process crash) via a crafted message.

CVE-2014-2037
Published: 2014-11-26
Openswan 2.6.40 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and IKE daemon restart) via IKEv2 packets that lack expected payloads. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE 2013-6466.

CVE-2014-6609
Published: 2014-11-26
The res_pjsip_pubsub module in Asterisk Open Source 12.x before 12.5.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via crafted headers in a SIP SUBSCRIBE request for an event package.

CVE-2014-6610
Published: 2014-11-26
Asterisk Open Source 11.x before 11.12.1 and 12.x before 12.5.1 and Certified Asterisk 11.6 before 11.6-cert6, when using the res_fax_spandsp module, allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via an out of call message, which is not properly handled in the ReceiveFax dia...

CVE-2014-7141
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read and crash) via a crafted type in an (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?