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The FTC has helped bust one of the largest spam groups in the world

The U.S. government has helped break up one of the largest organized spam rings in the world, which was responsible for sending billions of unsolicited e-mails.  

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 3 million complaints from internet users who received the spam e-mails tied to the group.

HerbalKing, promoting weight-loss drugs, male enhancement pills and prescription drugs, operated in the United States, China, New Zealand, and other nations, the U.S. government said.  Credit card transactions were processed in Cyprus and Georgia, and all products were shipped from India and China, with Chinese web servers used to host each web site.

According to the FTC investigation, the group received $400,000 in Visa credit card charges in a single month.  The government has asked a federal district court in the city of Chicago to freeze the ring's bank accounts, after accusing HerbalKing of violating the Can-Spam Act of 2003.

The FTC made purchases from the web sites, and discovered that they were not forced to provide prescription verification, and none of the drugs shipped to customers had instructions or dosage information.

The group's largest botnet, Mega-D, had 35,000 zombie PCs capable of sending 10 billion e-mail messages per day, according to security firm Marshal Software.

Roland Smits and Shane Atkinson of Christchurch, and Lance Atkinson of Pelican Waters, Queensland, Australia, along with Jody Smith of Texas, are named in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. government.  The cases are now pending in the U.S. federal court and New Zealand High Court.

It has been harder to crack down on spam, especially as many spammers become more organized at sending spam offering fake products.  Estimates indicate as much as 90 percent of all e-mail sent across the world is spam.

More organized spam ring leaders are forced to shut down, pay fines and sometimes go to jail, but the government-led effort has done little to curb the growing spam problem.



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RE: Daddy's helper.
By FITCamaro on 10/15/2008 8:27:32 AM , Rating: 4
I thought my spam folder was looking a little light.


RE: Daddy's helper.
By Alias1431 on 10/15/2008 10:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
I wish... I have over six thousand.


RE: Daddy's helper.
By VegetaWhatsTheScouterSay on 10/15/2008 10:53:21 AM , Rating: 4
Really? I have
OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAND!!!


RE: Daddy's helper.
By nugundam93 on 10/15/2008 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
that's why i stopped using my yahoo email and switched to gmail. :)

good news though on catching the spammers.


RE: Daddy's helper.
By FITCamaro on 10/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Daddy's helper.
By mmntech on 10/15/2008 10:58:23 AM , Rating: 2
Mine too. At least they're catching some of these people. It's amazing how much of a difference taking one group down came make. The problem is that there are probably hundreds if not thousands more of these butt holes out in the world, most of whom the US government can't touch.


RE: Daddy's helper.
By BruceLeet on 10/15/2008 11:24:15 AM , Rating: 2
for real.

I signed in this morning with no email messages I was scratchin my head, then I run into this article the pieces are coming together

=p


RE: Daddy's helper.
By InsaneGain on 10/15/2008 12:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
One person in our company opened an infected message attachment and it sent our entire e-mail address list to a spammer. I was getting over 50 spam messages a day. Now I am getting about 5.


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