Via Mashable:

Today [ie, Thursday, May 20], the Federal Trade Commission permanently shut down 3FN, a Belize-based Internet service provider (ISP) notorious for hosting botnets, child pornography, phishing attacks and various other scams and malware. The ISP has been ordered to pay back $1.08 million which it earned by cooperating and conspiring with criminals.

It took almost a full year in court for the FTC to win this battle against 3FN. When this ISP was put under a preliminary injunction last year, spam volume dropped by 15%.

3FN had been actively recruiting spammers and others and whose senior staff had coached clients on building botnets. The latter was proven with instant message logs between criminals and 3FN employees. The FTC estimated that 4,500 malicious software programs were hosted by the ISP, attacking unknown numbers of computers with keystroke loggers, password stealing software, data theft, backdoor access and spam distribution.

In addition to aiding and abetting those who would infest our computers with viruses, spyware and other malware, the ISP also knowingly hosted illegal and disturbing types of pornography.

The ISP ignored takedown requests and evaded prosecution by shifting certain elements or content to other IP addresses in its control. 3FN also did business as Pricewert LLC, Triple Fiber Network, APS Telecom, APX Telecom and APS Communication.

It remains to be seen whether or not this will have any affect on the amount of spam we are seeing.  The current trend in spam botnets is to see a temporary decline in total abuse followed by a recovery.  The recovery periods have been getting shorter and shorter as spammers and malware authors have started building more resiliency into their infrastructure.

I’ll keep an eye on it and report if I see anything unusual.