Feeds

Meet the world's most prolific spammers

Rogues' gallery

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.