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Top Spammer Busted

Top Spammer Busted

Less spam makes for a happy Furrball.

Have you opened your email today? Sure ya have...and probably got annoyed with the proliferation of junk mail in there. It's almost as if spam-rabbits are breeding somewhere. Fortunately, one of those spam-rabbits is about to spend a long time in prison - authorities in the US have captured one of the world's top-ten spammers.

Robert Soloway, a 27-year-old from Seattle, Washington found himself in a Federal court yesterday facing crimes including (but not limited to) mail fraud, aggrivated identity theft and money laundering. Soloway is largely considered one of the top spammers in the world, and authorities are expecting an immediate and visible drop in the amount of spam clogging tubes worldwide.

The spammer was arrested along with a huge portion of his crew thanks to an identity theft complaint. Apparently, Soloway's team hijacked a company's webserver to use for its spam propagation, which is equivalent to stealing someone's virtual identity in US law. These charges quickly escalated with evidence seized at the time of arrest to include the money laundering and mail fraud. This isn't the first time he's been in trouble, either - Microsoft won a civil suit against him in 2003 for roughly $7 million, and a small Oklahoma ISP won another $10 million.

Identity theft is no trifling matter in America, so it is expected that Mr. Soloway will be seeing the inside of a cell for quite a long time. This will be the first time that the law is used to protect a domain name, however - so the court case could turn sour if the presiding judge doesn't agree with the new application. It seems that he or she would be alone if that were the case, though...a Grand Jury gave the green light to thirty-five separate indictments.

The judge determined that Mr. Soloway could still afford his own defense, despite the government freezing four of his bank accounts. According to the Federal Prosecutor, Soloway has made about $800,000 off of his acts, offering to sell up to "20 million mails in 15 days" for a mere $500. The work is widely thought to be completed by "zombie" computers - people who have no idea that their machines are sending spam - and then funneled through a hijacked domain.

Hopefully, this will be the last time we see Mr. Soloway for a very, very long time. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the matter in our forums, of course...but please, no spam.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Hells_Bliss 31st May 2007, 16:47 Quote
boyah, stick him in prison. Make sure his cell mate is some bubba that's had to deal with lots of spam :o
Krikkit 31st May 2007, 16:51 Quote
Good news all round tbh, spam is a very low thing, and I'm sure the number of people who pay attention to it are plummeting every day as people become more and more web-wise. Hopefully we can see the days of big spamming numbered, although finding the rest of these sneaky gits will be tricky.
capnPedro 31st May 2007, 16:55 Quote
Bah, just put a bounty out on the other nine. They'll be brought to the authorities in a matter of months. Dead or alive :p.
gvblake22 31st May 2007, 16:55 Quote
Burn baby, BURN!!!
I hope they are able to track down more of these people every day and start ridding the world of this spam nonsense! :(
bilbothebaggins 31st May 2007, 16:58 Quote
Good to see that american law does some good sometime :) May he rot in that cell.

Though ... I somehow doubt that this will have any visible effect on the amount of spam we see in our mailboxes ...

-btb-
Mother-Goose 31st May 2007, 17:10 Quote
Dunno what the cat has got to do with this but it is CUTE!

Death penalty for spammers!
DXR_13KE 31st May 2007, 17:13 Quote
i hope someone fills his "mailbox" with "spam" while he is in prison.
trig 31st May 2007, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i hope someone fills his "mailbox" with "spam" while he is in prison.

if by "mailbox" you mean "a place where electronic mail goes until the intended recipient or his/her representative is able to access their email application" and by "spam" you mean "spam" then i agree...if you had any other meaning then i have no idea what you are talking about... ;)
sinizterguy 31st May 2007, 17:31 Quote
Thats great ... If they could get the rest of the million of them it would be better. They deserve life imprisonment with no parole.
MrWillyWonka 31st May 2007, 17:49 Quote
One problem I see, there is a new top 10, there will always be a top 10 until theres only 9 of them left!

I need to see figures to see if spam numbers will drop...
completemadness 31st May 2007, 18:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka
One problem I see, there is a new top 10, there will always be a top 10 until there's only 9 of them left!

I need to see figures to see if spam numbers will drop...
well said

however, its nice to finally see some good action against these spamming *****

Hopefully this will send a message out to other wannabee spammers that if they are caught there are serious consequences
Hugo 31st May 2007, 18:22 Quote
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


(sorry, couldn't resist)

I can't say I get any spam mail... but maybe I'm just lucky
pendragon 31st May 2007, 18:23 Quote
this guy needs to be banned from being anywhere within a 50' radius from a computer.. .hopefully he won't get 'computer' privileges while being in jail :( that would be the ultimate irony.
gpw111 31st May 2007, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Bliss
boyah, stick him in prison. Make sure his cell mate is some bubba that's had to deal with lots of spam :o

yeah. he should have to share a cell with lots of men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship!
Lineage 31st May 2007, 19:13 Quote
20 mil email only cost $500.... how can he payoff the 17mil lawsuit?
Hells_Bliss 31st May 2007, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lineage
20 mil email only cost $500.... how can he payoff the 17mil lawsuit?

real easy:

An estimated 55 billion e-mail spam were sent each day in June 2006, an increase of 25 billion per day from June 2005
DXR_13KE 31st May 2007, 19:54 Quote
all of that is clogging the intarnet tubes :P
Gman22 31st May 2007, 22:12 Quote
Quote:
aggrivated identity theft


I can't help myself...should be aggravated.

This is great that this guy can't spam anymore! Less spam in my mailbox!

Gman22
samkiller42 31st May 2007, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpw111
yeah. he should have to share a cell with lots of men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship!

And the only way that would have happened is due to the emails trying to sell viagra etc, now that would be ironic ;)

Sam
Brooxy 31st May 2007, 22:42 Quote
Well I doubt it'll have any noticible change to the amount of spam I get...but it's always good to see people like that put in a place where they can't do it anymore

If he drops the soap in prison, he'll deserve what he gets...

And I want that cat...
thecrownles 31st May 2007, 23:03 Quote
I want his prison address, we can all send him paper spam.
completemadness 31st May 2007, 23:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrownles
I want his prison address, we can all send him paper spam.
and his home address so we can send it there

when he gets out he get killed by the avalanche when he opens his door
Gooey_GUI 31st May 2007, 23:58 Quote
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/internet/05/31/spam.arrest.ap/index.html
Quote:
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.

About time!

Now, about all those zombies out there?

:?
sinizterguy 1st June 2007, 00:13 Quote
Someone else will take over those zombies .... There will not be a significant drop in spam as the "authorities" think.
The_Beast 1st June 2007, 01:05 Quote
good, hope we catch the other 9 SOBs
ralph.pickering 1st June 2007, 01:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Bliss
boyah, stick him in prison. Make sure his cell mate is some bubba that's had to deal with lots of spam :o

Hell yeah. Now it's his turn for some unsolicited male. :)
BurningFeetMan 1st June 2007, 05:01 Quote
On a 30 day period, my spam mail has dropped from 1,500 down to 1,000 over the last 6 months. I've just cleared the box back down to 0, so let's see what I will aquire over the next 30 days.

:)
jezmck 1st June 2007, 09:49 Quote
Perhaps we needs laws that stop the zombification of computers.
Maybe even warn those people who allow their PCs to become zombies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gman22
I can't help myself...should be aggravated. ...
Was going to do the same.
airchie 1st June 2007, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph.pickering
Now it's his turn for some unsolicited male. :)
OMFG LMFAO!!! :D:D
theevilelephant 1st June 2007, 11:48 Quote
from some rough calculations say half of that $800,000 is from spam. that $400,000 he sells 20 million spam messages for $500. so $400,000 divided by $500 is 800. 800 * 20 million is 16billion!!! you would hope that would mean that spam levels would drop by a bit... just a bit? :)
trig 2nd June 2007, 00:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph.pickering
Hell yeah. Now it's his turn for some unsolicited male. :)

nice...lmao
ou7blaze 3rd June 2007, 18:40 Quote
Death sentence seriously.
tuteja1986 3rd June 2007, 19:23 Quote
use his cash to put bounties on the other top 9 spamtards.
knuck 3rd June 2007, 19:50 Quote
victory !

i remember a few years ago my bro would receive 80 mails a day of spam LOL
cpemma 3rd June 2007, 22:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
victory !
Before shouting that, I'd want to know how much of that $17M he's actually handed over. Civil court judgements don't seem to affect these guys; one company declares bankrupt, another opens. The boss spammer doesn't get hurt financially, the mansion's in his wife's name. >:(

"Identity theft" is the interesting side - I've had my email address used as a "valid return" by spammers, it would be nice if that was illegal internationally.
GoodBytes 4th June 2007, 01:30 Quote
Should someone fallow and arrest who ever paid this guy for all the spam to send?!?
Miser 4th June 2007, 02:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
And the only way that would have happened is due to the emails trying to sell viagra etc, now that would be ironic ;)
I think that was the joke :p
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