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Project Honey Pot Files Lawsuit Against Spammers

Group hopes to collect information that will lead to identification of unknown bank scammers

A legal firm working for Project Honey Pot has filed a blanket lawsuit against the "John Does" who commit fraud and steal money via spam.

The lawsuit(PDF), which was filed in Virginia's Eastern District court, seeks damages against unknown spammers, including $100 for every message that contains false or misleading information.

The suit is designed as a rallying point for witnesses and victims of spam, particularly in the banking system, says Jon Praed, an attorney for the Internet Law Group, which filed the suit on behalf of Project Honey Pot.

"In a nutshell, our lawsuit will serve as a collection point around which all witnesses and victims to this crime can contribute data," Praed says. "By collecting the data in one place, we may be able to identify patterns more easily that could point to the identity of the bad guys or to the exploits they are using most effectively to steal millions of dollars from bank customers."

Project Honey Pot, which was created by Unspam Technologies, is currently monitoring more than 41 million honey pot email addresses, the lawsuit states. "Between January 2005 and August 2009, John Doe spammers transmitted over 825 million spam messages to hundreds of thousands of unique email addresses" belonging to Project Honey Pot members, who donate their email addresses as part of a "honey pot" designed to attract spammers for analysis.

"We hope all banks and IT vendors will contact us," Praed says. "Most importantly, it is urgent that bank customers who have been victimized by this scam contact us."

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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