Feeds

Meet the world's most prolific spammers

Rogues' gallery

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Spamhaus has published a revised list of the world's 10 worst spammers. According to the anti-spam organisation, 200 professional spam gangs are responsible for 80 per of the high volume of junk mail pumped onto the internet every day.

Public enemy number one is a Ukrainian known variously as Alex or Alexey, a prolific user of botnets, networks of PCs compromised with malware, to send out junk mail in association with a Russian spam gang called Pavka/Artofit. Alexey is involved in distributing child porn spam, among the many types of unsolicited junk he spew onto the net every day.

The world's second worst spammer, according to Spamhaus, is Leo Kuvayev, who also works with Pavka/Artofit. Kuvayev was fined $37m for his anti-social activities by a Massachusetts court in October 2005. His present whereabouts are unknown.

Spamhaus's number three offender, Michael Lindsay of iMedia Networks, runs a spam-hosting operation in the US that's used by numerous other junk mail firms. Down at number eight on the list, but well-known to law enforcement agencies is Western Europe, is Alexey Panov, an author of software used to send spam from compromised PCs and something of a Baron Samedi of botnets.

Four of the world's most prolific spammers in Spamhaus's Register Of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) database are from Russia and two are from the US. The other four members of the rogue's gallery are from Canada, Hong Kong, Israel and the Ukraine. Between them they push out a huge volume of junk mails touting porn, penis pills, loans, stock scams and other assorted tat.

Much of the problem from spam stems from ineffective enforcement action by ISPs. A small number of large ISPs go even further by knowingly selling services to professional spammers, or doing nothing to prevent spammers operating from their networks through either corporate greed or mismanagement.

Although all networks claim to be anti-spam, some can't resist the lure of selling services at a premium to spam operations. Others simply decide that purging botnet-infected machines from their network is too costly. Spamhaus names and shames the networks it reports as having the world's worst spam problems. Worst of the lot is verizonbusiness with serverflo.com and sbc.com picking up the second and three places, respectively, in Spamhaus' list of shame.

Spamhaus also uses its spam blocklist database to pick out the countries that have become a "safe haven" for spam operations. As with a similar list compiled by net security firm Sophos, the US and China top the pile. Russia is behind Japan in fourth spot with the UK occupying the seventh berth. ®

High performance access to file storage

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
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.