Feeds

AOL seeks spammer's buried gold

Pirate treasure hunt

3 Big data security analytics techniques

AOL is seeking to excavate grounds owned by parents of a convicted spammer in the hopes of finding gold bars and other buried booty thought to be worth up to $500,000.

The ISP is seeking to uncover the cache of treasure to recover part of the $12.8m judgment awarded to it in a lawsuit against penis-pill purveyor Davis Hawke.

Hawke was held responsible for sending at least 130,000 spam emails to AOL subscribers over three months during 2004 in a May 2005 judgement, made in his absence.

AOL's investigations have led it to conclude that $500,000 in gold and platinum bars might be hidden in or around Hawke's parents' home in Medfield, Massachusetts.

The net services giant wants to send in the bulldozers to hunt for the booty in the two acres of land owned by Hawke's parents and near his grandparents' home in nearby Westwood. The tip-off of the potential location of the loot came from Hawke's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Lingenfelter, who describes her former squeeze as "fundamentally lazy".

The enforcement of previous orders obtained by AOL against spammers have involved seizures of Porsche sports cars, gold coins, and other property worth millions, funds the internet firm has ploughed back into its efforts at eradicating irksome junk mail. However, this is the first time the ISP has sought to find a spam pirate's buried treasure.

AOL obtained receipts of gold purchases made by Hawke in order to persuade a judge to make the excavation order.

AP reports that Hawke's parents plan to challenge the order, which would involve temporarily removing them and Hawke's grandparents from their respective properties. AOL plans to use sonar and radar equipment to assist its search in order to minimise damage.

Hawke's mother, Peggy Greenbaum, denies that her son's assets are hidden about her property. Meanwhile, the man himself has gone to ground, according to AOL.

"I don't care if they dig up the entire yard. They're just going to make fools of themselves," Hawke's mother Peggy Greenbaum said. "There's absolutely no reason for them to think that Davis Hawke would be stupid enough to bury gold on our property. My son is long gone."

Hawke, a reported neo-nazi activist in his youth who renounced his birth name, Andrew Britt Greenbaum, and his affiliates are reckoned to have raked in more than $600,000 each month through spamvertising loans, porn, jewellery, and prescription drugs. The family say they haven't seen him for a year. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.