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Dutch botnet herder fined €75K for sending 9bn spams

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A Dutch spammer who used compromised PCs to spamvertise web sites has been fined €75,000 ($97,000) by Opta, the Netherlands telecoms regulator.

The man - named only as Mr X - used 600-700 compromised PCs to send about nine billion spam messages promoting penis pills, pornographic websites and other assorted tat. X's 14-month junk mail campaign reportedly earned him an estimated € 40,000 before he was collared in November 2005.

Firms the junk mailer promoted included Badcow, Caesarbucks, Epiccash, Datinggold, Adultactioncash, Blackmarketmoney 8 and Latinamaricanfinancia, the International Herald Tribune reports.

Opta said Microsoft has assisted in its investigation. In mitigation, X argued that he had stopped spamming by the time he was arrested - not because he realised his activities were wrong, but because he "simply wasn't earning enough money". ®

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