Korean programmers arrested for sending 1.6 billion spam emails

Sophos is welcoming today’s news that two men have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in one of South Korea’s biggest spam incidents.

The men, aged 20 and 26 years old, are alleged to have broken the law by sending out 1.6 billion spam emails between September and December 2006. South Korean authorities in Seoul claim that the duo, both computer programmers, obtained personal and financial information from 12,000 victims which they then sold to other firms.

“South Korea was revealed in Sophos’s recent security threat report as the third-worst nation in the world for relaying spam, so it’s critical that the authorities are cracking down on spammers based in the country,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos. “Spammers are battering inboxes in their attempts to make fast money, sell fake goods, and – in the worst cases – steal identities.”

In May 2006, South Korean authorities arrested a man suspected of running a network of zombie computers alleged to have sent 18 million spam messages a day.

“South Korea is admired around the world for its impressive internet infrastructure, but with the widespread adoption of broadband net connections comes the danger of spam, spyware and malware,” continued Cluley. “The courts in South Korea need to send a strong message to abusers of the internet that their criminal antics will not be tolerated.”

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