Feeds

$11.7m judgment against Spamhaus slashed to $27,000

End of line for 6.6 billion-strong spammer

Website security in corporate America

A federal judge has handed a major victory to anti-spam crusaders Spamhaus, slashing an $11.7m verdict to just $27,002.

US Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the Eastern District of Illinois said the plaintiffs, e360 Insight and its founder David Linhardt, failed to credibly calculate the damage that resulted when its promotional emails were targeted by Spamhaus. e360 sued Spamhaus in 2006 alleging defamation, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and interference with existing contracts.

e360 claimed that about 3 billion of the more than 6.6 billion emails it sent on behalf of clients were blocked by service providers who subscribed to the Spamhaus real-time blacklist. The court ruled in e360's favor after the volunteer anti-spam group withdrew from the case. A judgment of $11.7m was ultimately entered against Spamhaus.

An appeals court ultimately junked that ruling and sent the question of damages back to the lower court. At a trial in March, e360 argued once again it was entitled to astronomical damages that at different points was calculated at $135m, $122m, and $30m. Kocoras rejected all three amounts.

“None of these figures was the product of expert testimony or use of a scientific or reliable methodology, nor based on relevant or supportable factual premises,” he wrote in a decision issued on Friday. “As a result, none of the above amounts can be relied on or be a reasonable basis upon which to base a damage award.”

The judge went on to award e360 $27,000 for interference with existing contracts the company had with three clients, a sum the judge found to be equal to one month of additional work on behalf of the customers. He awarded just $1 apiece on the other two claims, and he said that claims calculated under the defamation part of 3360's case were “speculative and conclusory.” Kocoras also turned down 360's request for a court order barring Spamhaus from engaging in similar behavior against e360 in the future.

It's the latest high-stakes ruling to be issued in a spam case. A decision in a separate case last month awarded $2.6m, while another ruling awarded the same alleged spammer 807,000. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.