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7/24/2008
03:04 PM
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'Spam King' Escapes From Prison

Eddie Davidson remains at large after walking away from the Colorado prison where he was serving time for his role in spam scams.

Less than two months into his 21-month prison sentence, convicted spammer Edward "Eddie" Davidson, 35, decided he'd had enough and, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado, "walked away" from the minimum-security prison in Florence, Colo., where he was being held.

Davidson forced his visiting wife to help him escape, the Rocky Mountain News reported. After returning to his wife's home in Lakewood, Colo., for a change of clothes, he was last seen leaving in her 2006 silver Toyota Sequoia.

Davidson, referred to by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado as "the spam king," was sentenced on April 28 and ordered to pay $714,139 to the IRS as restitution for his role in a penny stock scam. He was ordered to report to prison on May 27.

Between July 5, 2002, and April 15, 2007, Davidson, under the name Power Promoters, provided spamming services to other businesses from his Colorado home. With the assistance of subcontracted spammers, he sent spam on behalf of some 19 companies.

Davidson is reportedly still at large and being sought by the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI, the IRS, and the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force.

Neither the U.S. Marshal's office in Denver nor the Lakewood police returned calls for comment.

A spokesperson at the FBI's Denver field office said she didn't have any further information as to Davidson's whereabouts.

More spammers appear to be going to prison than leaving it however.

Robert Alan Soloway, 29 -- also referred to by federal authorities as a "spam king" -- was sentenced on Tuesday to 47 months in prison for spamming. And on July 15, AOL spammer Adam Vitale, 28, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

That same day, Bruce Parker and Lisa Kimsey, accused by the Federal Trade Commission of sending bogus weight-loss supplement spam through their company, Spear Systems, agreed to settle the charges against them and pay back $29,000 in ill-gotten gains.

In December 2007, another infamous "spam king," Alan Ralsky, was indicted in Michigan, along with 10 others, for spamming.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

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Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

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