Feeds

Massachusetts fires legal broadside at spam gang

... as failed junk mailers escape FTC fine

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly obtained an emergency court order on Wednesday shutting down dozens of websites allegedly operated by a sophisticated ring of Boston area spammers. The group are allegedly behind millions of unsolicited, deceptive email messages touting unapproved counterfeit drugs, pirated software, and pornography that have plagued email users for months.

Leo Kuvayev and six other people - members of what's claimed to be one of the world's largest spam gangs - are accused of sending the messages in violation of consumer protection laws in a suit filed by Riley's office this week. Kuvayev is listed in Spamhaus register of the world’s 200 worst spammers here

Vladislav Khokholkov, Anna Orlova, Pavel Tkachuk, Michelle Marco, Dennis Nartikoev, Pavel Yashin and two companies: 2K Services and Ecash Pay are named in the suit along with Kuvayev, the alleged ring-leader. The suit accuses the unmagnificent seven of violations of Massachusetts' Consumer Protection Act and the Federal CAN-SPAM Act and seeks the imposition of a permanent injunction and unspecified damages against the defendants.

Although the exact number of emails sent by the gang is unclear, a spam trap run by Microsoft intercepted 45,000 spam messages sent in the three weeks between 12 June and 4 July, 2004. Massachusetts' investigation, coupled with data from Microsoft, found that Kuvayev and the defendants regularly shifted spamvertised domain names and websites to different internet addresses.

"By following the domain names through several of these shifts, uncovering more domain names linked to identical websites, and obtaining registration information from website hosting companies, investigators were able to determine the identity of Kuvayev and others and link them to websites selling counterfeit prescription drugs, pirated software, mortgage loan offers, counterfeit Rolex watches, and pornography," a statement on the suit explains.

"The [gang's] operations have been tracked to Russia and other countries overseas, with domain names registered in Monaco, Australia and France, and computer servers located in China, Korea, Brazil and Taiwan," it adds.

Failed bulkers escape fine

In other spam lawsuit news, the FTC announced on Tuesday that it had settled a suit against spammers who couldn't afford to pay the damages levied against them. The case concerns a network of firms punting fuel efficiency products using spam messages sent from false addresses. These junk mail messages featured bogus marketing claims about the supposed fuel-saving benefits of their "wonder product".

Mark C. Ayoub, his companies, Diverse Marketing Group, and Diverse Marketing Group; and Floyd and Marcia Tassin and their company, Net Marketing Croup, got off with a promise to "spam no more" after convincing the FTC that they couldn't afford fines of $292,000 and $9,000, respectively. Litigation against other defendants in the case, International Research and Development of Nevada and Anthony Renda, continues. ®

Related stories

New York sues Intermix over spyware
Man sues bigger penis pill company
Pfizer and MS sue Viagra spam gangs

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

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?