Spam ring leader fined $16 million

Lance Atkinson, the Australia-based New Zealander that has been found guilty of organizing a spam ring along with American accomplice Jody Smith, has been fined with more that $16 million by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The two of them, allegedly aided by Atkinson’s brother and another man, used a botnet consisting of 35,000 computers to send billions of emails that directed the recipients to websites (hosted on servers in China) selling weight loss and male enhancement pills that supposedly came from a legitimate US pharmacy, but were actually “fakes” shipped from India. Credit card information was processed in Cyprus and Georgia (ex USSR).

According to The Age, the spamming network used to be the one of the biggest in the world, and at one time was responsible for sending one third of all the spam in the world.

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