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Send 20,000,000 e-mails only $495
Robert Soloway arrested Wednesday
herb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 7:35 am on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said Wednesday that the case is the first in the country in which federal prosecutors have used identity theft statutes to prosecute a spammer for taking over someone else's Internet domain name. Soloway could face decades in prison.

He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs.

Prosecutors say Soloway used computers infected with malicious code to send out millions of junk e-mails since 2003. The computers are called "zombies" because owners typically have no idea their machines have been infected

Forbes [forbes.com]

 

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 8:47 am on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is not just a nuisance. This is way beyond a nuisance," Warma said.

[rant]

Absolutely! I hope he gets 100 years. These $%^&$£$ cost me many hours of time dealing with spam and virus issues. As a freelancer time is money so they really do cost me a lot of money.

If you add up the amount of time lost through this Worldwide on an annual basis it would amount to billions of dollars.

[/rant]

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 2:08 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)


System: The following 4 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/foo/3354619.htm [webmasterworld.com] by rogerd - 9:39 am on May 31, 2007 (est -5)


"A 27-year-old man described as one of the world’s most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised “zombie” computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails."

[msnbc.msn.com...]

henry0

WebmasterWorld Senior Member henry0 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 2:22 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Very nice!

But this calls for a deeper question
We are not speaking about a guy hiding in "no land" country.

As such he had clients from allover including probably a majority
of USA clients

And now the question:
Were those clients aware of his “technique”?
If so the Gov should also go after his clientele

This could help in diminishing even more spam.

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 2:56 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's little doubt that spam has greatly reduced the reliability of the entire email system. I see lots of community confirmation emails that get intercepted by spam prevention measures, for example, delaying new members from posting and creating extra work for everyone. The idea that one could eliminate all paper for things like invoices and send them by email has gone out the window with successful delivery rates of 90% or less.

So yes, this is a critical issue both for individuals and companies like Microsoft, AOL, etc. Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be much sympathy for spammers, nor is there an effective spammer lobby that can block additional legislation.

TheGuyAboveYou

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 3:00 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with the fact that this guy is getting prosecuted.
I did notice though that everytime someone gets arrested
they always talk about something like:

"He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma."

They like to throw that in to make people more angry. Because
we all know that if you have nice things that is another reason to hate you. Just part of the general attitude in this country about successful people. Not that he is "successful" but I see these
statements in the news even in cases where what they have has nothing to do with the case.

Her quote has nothing to do with the case. It is an emotional statement. Just an observation and something I see all the time.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 3:02 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

One down, millions to go.

He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.

$773k, that's all he made? Nah, that has to be just a small fraction.

He continued his activities even after Microsoft won a $7 million civil judgment against him in 2005 and the operator of a small Internet service provider in Oklahoma won a $10 million judgment, prosecutors said.

Hehehe, dingbat! I guess he felt he was untouchable? The two civil judgements didn't even phase him.

Let's see if this really does decrease the amount of spam. I doubt it.

But, it does send a very LOUD message to the others who are probably going deeper underground. They won't be as dumb as this Robert Soloway fellow and stick around rubbing it in their faces. What a dingbat!

designhaus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 3:26 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

what superb news!

These guys cost my business £100's every month. He should have to offer his services for free and repair servers clogged with spam as a punishment.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 3:29 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

The computers are called "zombies" because owners typically have no idea their machines have been infected.

I also feel that the owners of the "zombies" should have some responsibility in the matter too. Those computer owners provided the outlet for people like Soloway to exploit. If those machines were not out there, it would be much more difficult for the spam to get through.

Not only do those zombies contribute to the proliferation of spam, but they are also responsible for many other tech related issues such as DOS Attacks, etc. They really need to attack the issues at the source, those tens of thousands of computers that are infected. And, from my understanding, most of those are Windows systems. :(

RonPK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 3:34 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not that I like spam, but let's leave it to the judge to decide whether the guy is innocent or guilty...

I also hope the authorities try to find out who he worked for, and sue them. Hint: follow the money.

twtnyc

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:04 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

i'm wondering why they dont go after the people that hire him too? he's not doing it for free, and the people who pay him must gain from his work or they wouldnt hire him no?

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:13 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

No they treat spammers just like they do prostitutes. They won't go after the spammer johns. I bet some of those johns are big companies.

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:14 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

They like to throw that in to make people more angry. Because
we all know that if you have nice things that is another reason to hate you. Just part of the general attitude in this country about successful people. Not that he is "successful" but I see these
statements in the news even in cases where what they have has nothing to do with the case.

Her quote has nothing to do with the case. It is an emotional statement. Just an observation and something I see all the time.

I see your point, but I would have to disagree (sort of!). Though the quote may play on people's emotions, I think it was also designed to show how much this guy has profited from his rogue actions. His business has been deliberately infecting computers and wasting other businesses resources -- all so he can make money and drive around in a Mercedes.

Besides that, if people "hate" you just because you have nice things -- they're the ones with the problem. If they hate you because you have nice things, and you did something illegal in order to attain those nice things -- that's when anger sets in.

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:26 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does the US have an expedition treaty with Afghanistan?
I am sure his spam reached someone there..

gibbergibber

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:35 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

--They like to throw that in to make people more angry. Because
we all know that if you have nice things that is another reason to hate you. Just part of the general attitude in this country about successful people.--

No, you completely misunderstand human nature if you think that's the case. Someone who obtains millions of dollars through crime isn't what I'd call "successful". Do you think Pablo Escobar and Al Capone are people we should admire?

If someone has a Mercedes they earned through work, that's great, most people admire them. It's a symbol of what can be achieved through honest toil, and a positive thing.

If someone has a mercedes they earned through crime, especially when that crime has helped destroy a valuable public resource, then the Mercedes is a symbol of corruption and how the bad guys are rewarded by our society.

--I also feel that the owners of the "zombies" should have some responsibility in the matter too. Those computer owners provided the outlet for people like Soloway to exploit. If those machines were not out there, it would be much more difficult for the spam to get through.--

There's SO many of these infected computers, there's absolutely no possibility of prosecuting people for letting their computers get infected. It would be like trying to prosecute people for getting infected by real world diseases.

jtara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:41 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

"He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma."

They like to throw that in to make people more angry. Because we all know that if you have nice things that is another reason to hate you. Just part of the general attitude in this country about successful people

I hadn't noticed a general attitude in this country against people who "have nice things". More like the opposite.

If it was intended to make people angry, it was to instill anger against people who live high on the hog BY ABUSING THE PUBLIC.

Her quote has nothing to do with the case. It is an emotional statement. Just an observation and something I see all the time.

It certainly does. He was using a public defender. The judge ruled that he can well afford his own attorney. It was an appropriate thing for the prosecutor to comment on.

oneguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 4:51 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

TheGuyAboveYou
"He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma."

Her quote has nothing to do with the case. It is an emotional statement. Just an observation and something I see all the time.

celgins
I see your point, but I would have to disagree (sort of!). Though the quote may play on people's emotions, I think it was also designed to show how much this guy has profited from his rogue actions.

gibbergibber
If someone has a mercedes they earned through crime, especially when that crime has helped destroy a valuable public resource, then the Mercedes is a symbol of corruption and how the bad guys are rewarded by our society.

I don't care if he's barely eating. The problem is that he receives all of the gains, and everyone else absorbs the costs.

I don't even know how one could put a dollar figure on the costs associated with spammers in general. There definitely needs to be a technical solution, but I'll take one-jurisdiction criminal solutions over nothing at all. Using zombie computers puts somebody way over the line.

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:07 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)


I also feel that the owners of the "zombies" should have some responsibility in the matter too. Those computer owners provided the outlet for people like Soloway to exploit. If those machines were not out there, it would be much more difficult for the spam to get through......... ....And, from my understanding, most of those are Windows systems. :(

-Pageoneresults

"Those (zombie) machines" are typically MS-Windows based PC's.. but they are not part of the "ring" sending the spam --- they are PC's owned by you, me and other individuals, companies, schools, etc.. which run versions of MS-Windows operating system and have been infected by trojan software and other software unknown to the PC owner. These people are not perpetrators, they are victims -- their computers are being used without their knowledge.

The funny thing is MS lawyers probably went after him more for exposing vulnerabilities in Windows than for using MS's network resources.

If you leave your car running with the keys in it and a kid steals it and runs someone over, you are somewhat liable for being negligent, (and since in most places there are laws against leaving a vehicle running and untended)... BUT -- if the same kid hotwires your car, or breaks in and steals your keys -- you have not been negligent and would have no liability.

The same would hold true if you own a PC that is connected to the internet and someone comes in (uninvited) through a back door and uses the PC to send 1, 10 or 1,000,000 spam message.

oldpro

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:14 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

No they treat spammers just like they do prostitutes. They won't go after the spammer johns. I bet some of those johns are big companies.

It seems the pharmaceutical industry is a big supporter of spammers.

kamikaze Optimizer

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:36 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

"He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma."

I think that comment is a required statement in every US DOJ Attorney General press release.

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:37 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't get me wrong, I hate spammers as much as the next guy. But "decades" in prison"? There are murderers and rapists that don't spend decades in prison.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:50 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

But "decades" in prison"? There are murderers and rapists that don't spend decades in prison.

Yup, its one of those punishment doesn't fit the crime things. Decades in prison? So the schmuck is going to cost me another $35 to $50K per year of my taxpayer money to feed and house him? I don't think so!

What would I recommend for punishment?

  • 5 years in a maximum security environment. That's so Robert can enjoy the true meaning of SPAM. He may even end up with a cellmate who has a fixation on SPAM. Watch out Roberta...

  • Restitution to all of those who were affected. This to be paid from all accounts seized. Roberta is to hand write each and every letter to all of those affected by his/her activities. That should keep him/her busy during those 5 years.

There would also be stipulations on the sentencing. It would be based on the amount of information Roberta would be willing to share about his network and those funding it. If he kept quiet, impose the maximum, maybe 10-15 years?

The thing is, it is a non-violent Federal crime which means he'll end up in a Federal Palace and probably live better than some Webmasters do. That isn't justice in my mind. There needs to be both a physical and mental toll imposed on Roberta during these next 10-15 years of life.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 6:09 pm (utc) on May 31, 2007]

StupidScript

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 5:56 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also feel that the owners of the "zombies" should have some responsibility in the matter too.

If a product with well-known problems is distributed to consumers who fail to address those problems as they impact on the larger community, someone should be held responsible for damages caused to that community through the combined negligence.

Whether that falls on the producer of the product for knowingly shipping merchandise containing such flaws or for failing to guarantee the education of their consumers in how to secure their product, or on the consumer for failing to educate themselves and address the issues, I can't say in legal terms. But ignorance is not a defense, I believe.

When a car manufacturer ships vehicles with exploding gas tanks, it's on them to recall those vehicles and make things right with the consumer, to protect the consumer and the community that would be affected in the event of a gas tank explosion.

When a consumer buys an operating system with a well-publicized history of penetration and "zombie-fication", it is incumbent on them to take appropriate steps to safeguard the community they interact with. That community is directly affected both by the consumer's inaction, and by the producer's poor choice of development priorities.

akmac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:07 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sure, MS should take steps to secure their OS, but let's not forget that it's the folks who write the trojans, viruses, etc who deserve wrath.

The spammer should be released from prison the day he completes a system to effectively eradicate his *previous* profession.

Then he can begin with restitution.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:18 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't get me wrong, I hate spammers as much as the next guy. But "decades" in prison"? There are murderers and rapists that don't spend decades in prison.

Actually, he should get LIFE!

Unlike someone that commits a single crime against a single person, the malicious code he uses to infect peoples computers causes tons of grief to thousands of unsuspecting victims.

They will either pay enormously to get computers fixed, just toss 'em and start over, or unknowingly just suffer with slow crashing machines, all victims of a single criminal.

Not to mention people that have had their email address hijacked and got reported as spamming when they didn't, which definitely caused some people some grief.

One time my domain name was a target of a spam run and my inbox, which is a catch-all, just started filling up with THOUSANDS of undeliverable emails that were bouncing off web servers. Had whoever did that been in the US, I would've had a lawyer after them in a NY minute, but it originated from out of the country.

FWIW, that's why I have my mail servers set to REJECT undeliverable mail, not BOUNCE, so that:
a) I'm not responsible for filling up someone else's Inbox with bounce mails and,
b) My server isn't full of undeliverable bounces pending delivery clogging my mail queue

blend27

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:21 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

--- That should keep him/her busy during those 5 years.

They should lock all of them spammers up and have them handcraft fortune cookie messages on toilet paper using tears as ink. By thousands... and if they do well, only then move them to more brain intensive things like trying to come up with an apology for the human society. Just imagine how much electricity is wasted every day on SPAM Creation, Traffic of it and Prevention.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:24 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

What would I recommend for punishment?

Five years in isolation where his only contact with the outside world is through e-mail on an old PC with Win95 and a dialup modem. His e-mail address will be published so that everyone is free to add his address to their honey pots for e-mail bots.

So in order to communicate with anyone (including his lawyer), he'll have to download and go through thousands of SPAM messages, just like everyone else.

THAT punishment would begin to fit the crime.

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:39 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

There will be no peace until there are gateways that can only be crossed by either credentials or pre-approval.

Can anyone link reference an authoritative and detailed analysis of the policy or technical reasons why such a gated or authenticated system will never work? I'd like to know so I can at least give up all hope of a solution. :-(

Bewenched

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:43 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Instead of prision, I say put him on probation where he is prohibited from being within 100 yards of a computer including a laptop and blackberry.

This would include ANY computer .. we're talking cash registers, atms .... anything.

TheGuyAboveYou

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3354283 posted 6:48 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

I didn't mean to read too much into the statement but I wonder
if he was living in a "regular house" and driving a pinto if
they would say anything? I doubt it. I definatley didn't mean to imply he deserves the money he has collected.

I agree that is seems to be a regular DOJ type statement.

This 72 message thread spans 3 pages: 72 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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