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MySpace Sues 'Spam King'

Social networking site alleges phishing attack by infamous spammer Sanford Wallace

MySpace yesterday filed a lawsuit against self-proclaimed "spam king" Sanford Wallace, alleging that he instigated a phishing scheme to gain access to user profiles on the social networking site.

The suit, filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Wallace of violating the CAN-SPAM Act and California's anti-spam and anti-phishing statutes. MySpace is seeking a permanent injunction barring Wallace and his affiliated companies from its Website, in addition to unspecified monetary damages.

MySpace says that in October 2006, Wallace "created profiles, groups, and forums on MySpace to direct users through deceptive means to Websites owned and/or operated by Wallace. Wallace also spammed thousands of users with unwanted advertisements that promoted his Websites."

"Individuals who try to spam or phish our members are not welcome on MySpace," says Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer for MySpace.

Wallace has been previously sued -- either directly or through entities that he owned or controlled -- by America Online, Concentric Network, CompuServe, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2006, Wallace was forced to pay more than $4 million in a lawsuit brought by the FTC for the actions of Smartbot.net.

The suit against Wallace is the latest in a series of efforts to combat spam, phishing, and other misuse of the MySpace site, according to officials.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading