Feeds

Earthlink brings down the Buffalo Spammer

Takes NY spamring to court

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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 next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.