Robert Alan Soloway: A top 10 spammer arrested

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Federal authorities in the US have reported that one of the world’s “top 10” email spammers has been arrested. Robert Alan Soloway has been accused of using a network of “zombie” PCs to send out millions of spam email on bhealf of his Internet marketing company, containing details of other companies and individuals duped into taking up his services.

“He’s one of the top 10 spammers in the world,” said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company’s Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. “He’s a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day.”

Though he has already lost millions of dollars in lost lawsuits in the past, against the likes of Microsoft, he has still led a plush lifestyle. Not only a spammer, he’s also charged with fraud, identity theft, and money laundering.

There’s the potential for him to spend many years in prison, though an exact sentencing range has not yet been set.

Soloway was described as “a long-term nuisance on the Internet” by the Spamhaus Project.

Unfortunately, Soloway is just one of a number of prolific spammers and I don’t share the optimism of Federal authorities who suggest that users will see a decrease in the amount of spam. All I see is an increase, and that’s with advanced junk filtering going on.

Zombie networks are a major problem, though, and somehow ordinary PC users need to be educated on how and why their computers should be secured online. That’s a huge task.

Andy Merrett