US Spam Defendant Set To Be Sentenced To At Least Two Years In Jail, Sophos Reports

A man accused of sending millions of illegal spam emails from compromised computers belonging to well known companies and government organisations, is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday and is likely to face a prison sentence of at least two years.

Daniel Lin of Detroit, USA has been charged, along with three other men, of sending millions of emails in April 2005 from hacked computers belonging to the Ford Motor Company, Amoco, Unisys, the US Army Information Centre, and the Administrative Office of US Courts. The spam emails sold bogus diet aids, herbal remedies and illegally imported erectile dysfunction drugs.

Lin has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors which will result in a sentence of between two years and 57 months in prison. Before making the agreement, Lin had faced up to five years on each of the two spam counts and up to 10 years on an unrelated gun charge.

According to records produced by the authorities, the gang of four men generated approximately 60,000 pounds, selling more than 100 orders a week for at least five months. Amongst the goods sold was a herbal weight loss patch worth about 35 pounds that officials claim did not work.

“Spammers clog the internet with unwanted messages, making life harder for everyone with an email address and peddling bogus goods to the unwary. They also don’t balk at exploiting the computers of innocent people and companies to relay their unwanted spam onto other computer users,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “Weight-loss products are just one of many goods plugged by spammers, but many computer users faced by the growing tide of spam will probably like to see spammers go on a diet of bread-and-water.”

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution, which can defend against the threats of spam, spyware and viruses.

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