Feeds

US smut spam duo jailed for five years apiece

Take them down

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A pair of US men were each jailed for more than five years on Friday for their part in a long-running pornographic spam business that racked up revenues of more than $1m.

Jeffrey A Kilbride, 41, of Venice, California, and James R Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, were jailed for 72 months and 63 months respectively. US District Judge David G Campbell gave Kilbride the higher sentence after the court ruled that he attempted to prevent a government witness from testifying at his trial.

Kilbride and Schaffer protested their innocence throughout proceedings, but an Arizona jury was unimpressed, finding each guilty of sundry offences including fraud, money laundering, illegal spamming, and various obscenity charges. The three week trial was the first to include charges under the CAN-SPAM Act, the US's controversial anti-spam laws.

Beginning in 2003, Kilbride and Schaffer established a spamming operation in the United States. They specialised in sending junk mails promoting hard-core porn sites, earning a commission any time someone signed up in response to their messages. Often these indiscriminately sent messages contained explicit images.

In late 2003, after the CAN-SPAM Act was passed, Kilbride and Schaffer took steps to relocate their illicit enterprise abroad. By remotely logging in to servers in Amsterdam, the men were able to make it appear that the messages they were sending originated abroad, when they were actually being sent from Phoenix. Their emails contained falsified headers that implied they were sent from a shell corporation in Mauritius.

The duo used bank accounts in the Republic of Mauritius and the Isle of Man to receive the proceeds from the operation in a bid to further throw investigators off their scent, ultimately without success. Two of the pair's co-conspirators - Andrew Ellifson, 31, of Scottsdale, Arizona; and Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, California - turned state's evidence at Kilbride and Schaffer's trial.

At their sentencing hearing last week, Kilbride and Schaffer were fined $100,000 and ordered to pay $77,500 in restitution to AOL. Judge Campbell also ordered the defendants to stump up more than $1.1m, the estimated proceeds of their spamming business.

More information can be found in a DoJ statement on the case here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
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
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.