Feeds

Man cops to botnet-fueled pump-and-dump scheme

Securities fraud in the digital age

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

An Arizona computer specialist has admitted taking part in a conspiracy that used large networks of compromised computers to inflate the value of stocks so they could later be sold at a profit.

James Bragg, 41, of Chandler, Arizona, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and fraud, prosecutors said. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. It wasn't immediately clear when sentencing is to take place.

According to court documents, Bragg was hired to pump the value of two over-the-counter stocks by blasting the internet with promotional email. He in turn hired people to use botnets to distribute the messages to improve the chances they wouldn't be caught by spam filters. The botnets were also used to compromise online brokerage accounts so they could be used to buy up large blocks of the two stocks. He also falsified the headers of the emails, in violation of various laws outlawing spam.

In December 2007, Bragg sent a Skype message to a Texas man identified only as C.R. who acted as a middleman between stock promotors and the email spammers. It reported that the spam campaign for one of the companies was “runnin hard hitting inbox on gmail, hot, yahoo, fusemail” and “should be hitting others as well.”

Bragg also agreed to trade the manipulated stocks among members of the conspiracy in an attempt to give the impression they were being actively traded on the open market. The scam began as early as November 2007 and continued through February 2009.

Bragg, who spent much of his time in Thailand, pleaded guilty to separate spam offenses in 2009 alongside notorious pump-and-dump spammer Alan Ralsky. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.