Feeds

Earthlink brings down the Buffalo Spammer

Takes NY spamring to court

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Earthlink, the US ISP, was today awarded $16.4 million damages and permanent relief against a notorious spammer.

The company accused Howard Carmack - aka The Buffalo Spammer - of sending more than 825 million illegal emails since March 2002.

Also, it alleged that Carmack and accomplices "used stolen credit cards, identity theft, banking fraud and other illegal activities to fraudulently purchase Internet accounts and send out unsolicited, commercial emails".

The ISP noticed a spike in Internet traffic from the Buffalo, NY area in March 2002. This was the work of a single spam ring working in the area, according to Earthlink.

It says it has discovered the identity of several members of the ring, as well as accumulating a "mountain of evidence proving Carmack to be the mastermind of the Buffalo Spammer ring".

According to Earthlink, Carmack "assumed the identities of other Carmack family members and of innocent third-parties to disguise his own involvement in these illegal activities".

He successfully dodged Earthlink's process servers for several months until they caught up with him in February 2003. The case is to be heard in the district court of Atlanta.

Earthlink claims a good track record in legal action against über-spammers. In 1997, it won a $2 million judgement against Sanford Wallace "the most prolific spammer of his time", and his company Cyber Promotions.

In 2002, EarthLink received a $25 million judgment against K.C. Smith, "shutting down an operation that had generated more than 1 billion unwanted emails on the Internet". Which is good. But do these ISPs ever actually get their mitts on any spammer's money? Not, according to this AP report. Carmack was not in court today, and neither was a legal representative, so he may well have gone to ground again.

But the permanent injunction against sending out spam is much more important than the damages, Pete Wellborn, Earthlink lawyer told AP. "The important thing not to lose sight of the point of the case and its incredible value to all Internet users is is that the ruling gets these people off the Internet. Carmack is not going to be spamming anybody else." ®

Related stories

AOL wins $7m in spam case
Evil spammers jailed for two years
AOL spammer pleads guilty to forgery
Yahoo! AOL and MS declare war on spam
Rise of the Spam Zombies
On Spam cures that are worse than the disease
Anti-spam packages 'too unreliable' to certify

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.