A fellow by the name of Sanford Wallace, otherwise known as one of the “Spam Kings”, has been charged with 11 federal criminal counts, these counts related to 27 MILLION unsolicited SPAM messages sent via Facebook servers. FBI officials note that Wallace received “substantial revenue” for this so-called “scheme” in which 500,000 Facebook users accounts were compromised. As of August 7th, 2011, Wallace has turned himself into authorities, has pled not guilty, and is free on a $100,000 bond while he faces more than 40 years in prison for his alleged crimes. Lulzsec and Anonymous have been unavailable for comment.*
Indictment files made in San Jose, California have said that Facebook servers were manipulated by Wallace, unsolicited mails being sent then to users from their “friends” accounts, these users never actually having sent the messages in the first place, messages then encourage users to click links leading to 3rd party sites that then collect Facebook information such as friends lists, these lists then used to continue the cycle of SPAM through the Facebook world. Also according to the indictment files, this operation took place between November of 2008 and March of 2009.
*This hack apparently has nothing to do with Facebook hacks we saw take place a few months ago to Facebook-based Farmville and the Zuckerberg profile page hack that preceded it.
According to a separate report, Wallace has previously been in trouble with Facebook, this time being sued by Facebook in 2009 for “compromising their servers,” this time the judge issuing a $711 million USD judgement against Wallace, also barring him from accessing the site. Authorities now say he violated that order. Chris Sonderby, one of Facebooks lawyers in such matters, released a statement reading: “[Facebook] will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers and others [attempting to harm Facebook users]”.
Wallace has been into Spamming internet users since the mid-1990s, a time when he headed a group by the crafty name “Cyber Promotions”, this working with SPAM through email. The 11 counts leveled against Wallace now include intentional damage to a protected computer, fraud, and criminal contempt for violating previous orders to stay off Facebook as well as MySpace. Wallace had previously gotten in trouble with MySpace as a federal judge found him guilty of creating 10,000 fake profiles made to redirect legitimate users to third-party websites, this crime resulting in a $230 million judgement on Wallace.
BONUS: the photo above is of Sanford Wallace himself posing in front of an Apple Macintosh computer with three SPAM cans on top on May 8, 1997
[via Christian Science Monitor]