Two Hackers Admit to Role in US$2 Million Spam Case
Lest you ever find yourself entertaining the notion that spam is more annoying than it is dangerous, take a moment to consider this late-breaking case in the United States. Two spammers in New Jersey recently plead guilty for the role they played in a major hacking operation that generated roughly US$2 million in illegal profits – all of which were generated through spam.
The two men in question – Tomas Chmielarz and Devin James McArthur – admitted that their actions led to the theft of millions of identities. They’ve been charged with hacking, identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and their recent confessions on at least some of these counts indicate that the case will soon be coming to a close. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on 13 September.
This is a sobering reminder that spammers are nothing short of criminals who are out to defraud and otherwise do harm to innocent people. As we’ll see in the next section, their operations involved bona fide criminal operations. In other words, these were not merely unscrupulous individuals with a knack for computers. Rather, they exhibited genuine criminal intent.
How the Spam Operation Worked
There were several moving parts to this criminal case. The operation revolved around a company called ‘A Whole Lot of Nothing’, which was owned and operated by a third party named Timothy Livingston.
This marketing company was glorified spam agency that specialised in sending unsolicited emails on behalf of its clients – some of which were actually illegal operations such as online pharmacies dealing in narcotics. Every email that resulted in a sale would generate several dollars in profit for Livingston.
Next came the aforementioned McArthur, who worked as a sales representative for a telecommunications company. He provided his co-conspirators with remote access to a database of names, phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses that belonged to customers of the telecom company.
Next in line was Chielarz, who admitted to having carried out several actions:
- Creating custom software that was used to bypass spam filters whilst concealing the name of the sender
- Hacking into other corporate accounts to steal employee information
- Using company servers to send out spam to make it appear like the company was responsible for sending it
As such, this trio of co-conspirators used stolen contact information to send unsolicited spam emails with the hopes of selling illegal products and services. As you can see, this was multi-faceted criminal operation with very serious implications.
Protect Your Identity and Reputation with MailCleaner
At MailCleaner, we take spam very seriously, because we’ve seen over and again how serious the repercussions can be when spammers take to the Internet. These individuals are much more than an annoyance; and they’re wreaking real havoc in the lives of those they target.
If you’re serious about protecting your business, its integrity and the identity of the employees who work for you, then it’s imperative that you set up strong anti-spam measures to protect your organisation. Contact MailCleaner today for more information.