[LINK] spammer in Queensland shut down

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Oct 15 18:32:12 EST 2008


A New Zealand man living in Australia has been fingered by US 
authorities as a ringleader of the largest spam operation in the 
world, responsible for sending out billions of unsolicited emails in 
recent years.

Lance Atkinson, 26, who lives in Pelican Waters in Queensland, has 
had his assets frozen by a US district court at the request of the US 
Federal Trade Commission, which also succeeded in having the spam 
network shut down.

Criminal charges are expected to be laid after the FTC said 
Atkinson's assets were frozen to "preserve them for consumer redress 
pending trial".

Atkinson's Australian-registered company, Inet Ventures, is one of 
four companies targeted by the FTC over the operation, which 
encouraged people to click through to websites that allegedly used 
false claims to peddle prescription drugs, as well as "male 
enhancement" and weight-loss pills.

The only other defendant named by the FTC is Jody Smith of Texas.

Atkinson and Smith allegedly controlled a "botnet" of 35,000 
computers, capable of sending 10 billion email messages a day.

The non-profit antispam research group SpamHaus said the network - 
which has ties to Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United 
States - was the largest spam operation in the world and at one point 
was responsible for one-third of all spam.

Calls to Atkinson's Queensland home went unanswered today.

Atkinson and another business partner were previously fined $US2.2 
million by the FTC in 2005 for running a similar spam network that 
marketed herbal products.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

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~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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