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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

US Authorities Shut Down Spamming Operation

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States, with the help of security firm Marshal Software, have won over the courts in Chicago allowing the FTC to freeze the assets of HerbalKing group and promptly shut down the operations. The group is said to have ties to Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United States and it's estimated that the group controlled 35,000 computers, in a botnet, and could send 10 billion e-mail messages a day. “This is pretty major. At one point these guys delivered up to one-third of all spam,” said Richard Cox, chief information officer at SpamHaus, a nonprofit antispam research group. HerbalKing e-mails have flooded the internet with the promise of cheap knock off watches and a variety of pharmaceuticals, including weight-loss drugs and male anatomy enhancers. According to the New York Times "The group was shipping drugs like Propecia, Lipitor, Celebrex and Zoloft out of India. The F.T.C. also said the group based its Web sites in China, processed credit cards from the former Soviet republic of Georgia and Cyprus, and transferred funds among members using ePassporte, an electronic money network."