Archive for Reducing spam

Businessman wins e-mail spam case

A businessman has won what is believed to be the first victory of its kind by claiming damages from a company which sent him e-mail spam. Nigel Roberts, who lives in Alderney in the Channel Islands, took action against Media Logistics UK over junk e-mails in his personal account.

Under new European laws, companies can be sued for sending unwanted e-mails.

The Stirlingshire-based firm has agreed to pay £270 compensation to Mr Roberts, who runs an internet business.

Three years ago the EU passed an anti-spam law, the directive on privacy and telecommunications, which gave individuals the right to fight the growing tide of unwanted e-mail by allowing them to claim damages.

Mr Roberts received unwanted e-mail adverts for a contract car firm and a fax broadcasting business and decided to take action against the company.

The company filed an acknowledgement of the claim at Colchester County Court but did not defend it and a judge ruled in favour of Mr Roberts.

In an out-of-court agreement Media Logistics agreed to pay Mr Roberts damages of £270 plus his £30 filing fee.

Mr Roberts said he had limited his claim to a maximum of £300 in order to qualify to file it as a small claim.

He said: “This may be a tiny victory but perhaps now spammers will begin to realise that people don’t have to put up with their e-mail inboxes being filled with unwanted junk.”

No-one from Media Logistics UK was available for comment.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, the watchdog who oversees the Data Protection Act, said it was the first case of its kind he had heard of.

He said: “What I can say is that I haven’t heard of anyone doing so and we haven’t taken a case under that legislation.”

From the BBC.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


AlienLovesPredator turns spam into fun

Alien Loves Predator is a very funny web comic, spoofing the Alien Vs. Predator franchise. It depicts the famous Alien (Abe) and Predator (Preston) characters, set as roommates in present day New York City.

The latest strip has some nice spam related fun in it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


British spammer gets six years in prison

An internet spammer convicted of running a £1.6m e-mail scam from a bedroom in his father’s house has been jailed for six years.
Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail.

The 23-year-old was also convicted of threatening to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and fraudulent trading.

He had offered thousands of e-mail and website names when he had no right.

And when victims complained, he threatened to destroy their internet systems by sending millions of spam e-mails.

Peterborough Crown Court heard he also threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county’s trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters.

When internet policing group Nominet posted warnings about his activities, he responded by saying he would attack its servers.

Francis-Macrae, who made more than £100,000 per week from the scam, spent £28,000 on designer clothes and on learning to fly helicopters, the court heard.

During the trial, Francis-Macrae defied Judge Nicholas Coleman QC by refusing to reveal where he hid up to £425,000, saying Cambridgeshire Police would “steal” it.

After sentencing, Pc Jody Faro said: “This investigation highlights just how easy it can be to deceive and lie to people using the internet.”

Francis-Macrae was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, one of concealing criminal property, two of making threats to kill, one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property and one count of blackmail.

The 23-year-old was cleared of two charges of making threats to kill.

From BBC News.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Pfizer takes on Viagra spam in Holland

Pfizer Netherlands has started a radio campaign against Viagra spam, warning consumers that 97 per cent of the pills offered are counterfeit.

Radio commercials on public broadcast radio and Sky Radio also warn purchasers that many of the illegal drugs are unapproved and may not contain the real chemical.

Pfizer is citing a report by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), which says that falsifications are a risk to public health. Many of the pills are produced without adequate quality control, although the pills and the packaging can appear to be the same.

Some rogue pharmacies claim to sell “legal generic Viagra”, which doesn’t even exist, as Pfizer’s patents are still in place. Others claim the drug meets World Health Organization (WHO) standards, although the WHO does not ensure the quality or safety of drugs.

Fifty five per cent of Dutch men say they receive Viagra spam. Of those, 85 per cent say they are annoyed by it. About 46 per cent of people that receive Viagra spam think that Pfizer sends out these solicitations, a spokesman for the firm says. “We get a lot of phone calls from people asking us why we do this.”

Earlier this year Pfizer, along with Microsoft, filed 17 parallel lawsuits against two “international pharmacy spam rings” selling what they claim were generic versions of Viagra online. Pfizer said it would also take action to ban the domain names of a dozen other websites, which sport addresses like

From an article in the Register.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


SpamAssassin Long Message Header Denial of Service

A vulnerability has been reported in SpamAssassin, which can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

The vulnerability is caused due to the use of an inefficient regular expression in “/SpamAssassin/” to parse email headers. This can cause perl to crash when it runs out of stack space and can be exploited via a malicious email that contains a large number of recipients.

The vulnerability has been reported in version 3.0.4. Prior versions may also be affected.

Update to version 3.1.0.
Original advisory

Tags: , , , , , ,


« Previous entries ·