Feeds

ISP shuttered for hosting 'witches' brew' of spam, child porn

3FN RIP

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A federal judge has permanently pulled the plug on a California web hosting provider accused of harboring a "witches' brew" of pernicious content on behalf of child pornographers, spammers, and malware purveyors.

San Jose, California–based 3FN.net, which also operated under the name Pricewert, was also ordered to liquidate all assets and surrender more than $1m in illegal profits. The ruling by US District Judge Ronald M. Whyte was in response to a complaint filed in June in which Federal Trade Commission lawyers portrayed 3FN as a haven for some of the internet's most objectionable content.

FTC attorneys cited a mountain of evidence to support their claims, including instant message transcripts from high-level 3FN employees and logs from NASA servers that showed attacks originating from IP addresses controlled by 3FN. They also submitted findings from computer-forensics expert Gary Warner of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, NASA's office of the inspector general, and researchers from Spamhaus and Symantec in proving the allegations.

"These experts had analyzed data derived from internet searches which establish that defendant, an internet service provider, was engaged in widespread illegal activity," Whyte wrote in his ruling, which was dated April 8 but not announced by the FTC until Wednesday.

The FTC's June 4 complaint wasn't made public until after authorities obtained a temporary restraining order shuttering the service. Attorneys sought the order in secret to prevent 3FN customers from destroying evidence or finding new hosts. After Max Christopher and other alleged Pricewert representatives failed to respond to the allegations in court, Whyte ruled that the order should become permanent.

The judge also ordered that all 3FN servers and other assets be sold and that $1.08m of the proceeds be paid to federal authorities. That amount was based on estimates Whyte called "conservative" that over a six-year span 3FN received $15,000 per month hosting illegal content. The amount could have been much higher had there been more evidence about 3FN's finances. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
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
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
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
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.