FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION GAVE A DEATHBLOW TO SPAMMERS

Updated: 10/16/2008 17:00
Reprints/Permissions  Hyip Monitor
A preliminary legal victory was gained by the Federal Trade Commission in the USA against one of the largest spam gangs on the Internet This spam

A preliminary legal victory was gained by the Federal Trade Commission in the USA against one of the largest spam gangs on the Internet.

This spam ring that used various names but was known among spam-fighting organizations as HerbalKing sent an innumerable amount of unsolicited messages to Internet users over the last 20 months where they supposedly promoted replica watches and a variety of pharmaceuticals, including weight-loss drugs and herbal pills that supposedly enhanced the male anatomy, the commission reports.

Impudent solicitations were rained down by the HerbalKing group via a botnet, a global network of computers infected with malicious software, often without the knowledge of their owners. According to the estimates of the security firm Marshal Software, which assisted the F.T.C. with the investigation the groups Mega-D botnet ? named after one of its pill products ? was made up of 35,000 computers and could send 10 billion e-mail messages a day.

As a result of close monitoring of the groups finances F.T.C. discovered that it cleared $400,000 in Visa charges in one month alone.

Within the past ten years the commission brought more than 100 cases against spammers and spyware vendors but this spam operation was found to be the most extensive they had ever encountered, with ties to Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United States.

The federal court in Chicago was asked by the commission to freeze the gangs finances on the grounds that its members were using unfair and deceptive advertising practices and violating the Can-Spam Act of 2003. That federal regulation provides civil and criminal penalties for spammers who falsify information in e-mail messages and fail to offer ways for consumers to refuse further messages.

The government itself is pursuing criminal charges against the group. FBI investigators in Chicago and St. Louis were issued with search warrants against members of the spam gang.

The drugs like Propecia, Lipitor, Celebrex and Zoloft promoted by the gang were shipped from India. The websites were based in China while credit cards were processed from the former Soviet republic of Georgia and Cyprus. The HerbalKing group transferred funds among members using ePassporte, an electronic money network.

After the Food and Drug Administration tested the herbal pills from the group it found that the pills contained sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, which can be risky for some people with heart problems


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