Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

Accused spammer's trial to start next month

Accused spammer's trial to start next month

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Alleged spammer Robert Soloway's trial will start next month in Seattle.  From Computerworld:

 


Soloway was arrested in May and charged with sending out tens of millions of unsolicited messages; so many, in fact, that investigators called him the "Spam King," and his arrest was hailed as a major blow in the fight against spam. Many of Soloway's unsolicited messages were sent out using hacked "zombie" computers infected with botnet software, prosecutors allege.

 

The United States Attorney's Office is seeking more than $770,000 in fines, but Soloway is also facing fraud and identity theft charges that could result in jail time.


 

Is it just me, or does only 3/4 million dollars in fines seem a little low?  This is further compounded by the fact that lawyers doubt they will actually be able to collect anything:

 


If U.S. attorneys can get money out of Robert Soloway, it will be a first. In 2005 Microsoft was awarded a $7.8 million judgment against the Spam King, but it has yet to collect a penny, according to Aaron Kornblum, a senior attorney with Microsoft.

 

In a May 2005 discussion group post, Soloway correctly predicted that Microsoft would be unable to collect. "I've been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars and have had my business running for over 10 years without ever paying a dime regardless to the outcome of any lawsuits," he wrote.


I have great faith in Microsoft's lawyers, but it seems unfortunate to me that the economics of the situation are unlikely to tip the scales against Soloway.  In other words, unless he gets convicted in criminal court and is sentenced to prison, he'll probably go back to doing exactly what he was doing before.

Help me, CAN-SPAM Act, you're my only hope!

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