Dutchman fined for billions of spam mails

A Dutchman has been fined €75,000 by telecoms watchdog Opta for sending at least nine billion spam messages using computers based in America. Opta said the man, who lives in Noord Holland, had earned at least €52,000 from the spam. He was tracked down in a year-long investigation after a tip-off from Microsoft.

The man, known only as Mr X, was busy over a 14-month period, the AD newspaper reports. He rented at least 10 servers from US company Managed.com which contained millions of email addresses and used Darkmailer software to produce the spam.
The man also used between 600 and 700 zombie computers (remote computers which have been taken over by a third party) to send spam on behalf of foreign websites such as Badcow and Datinggold, says Opta expert Daan Molenaar in the AD.
Earlier this week, a Dutch court sentenced two hackers to jail for infecting millions of computers with malware (malicious software) and stealing personal data, including credit card details. They used the information to buy iPods, digital cameras and Playstation game consoles.
One man, aged 20, was sentenced to two years in jail and fined €9,000. A 28-year-old man was given an 18-month sentenced and fined €4,000. The pair infected millions of computers with a Trojan horse called Toxbot, which allowed them to steal personal information.
Last month internet security company Sophos said the Netherlands is the fourth worst country in the world for hosting websites which spread Trojans, viruses and other dangerous software.

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