Computer Crime Research Center


Almost all e-mails are spam

Date: February 08, 2006

An estimated 80 percent to 85 percent of all e-mail is spam, said Lee Burton, chief engineer at Scottsdale-based Extreme Internet.

"Hackers are moving away from just doing it for fun," Burton said.

"They now are doing it as a business and making a big profit from it. Spamming is an international problem, and I don't think laws in the United States are going to stop it."

But that hasn't stopped the government from trying.

In 2003, Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, which allows law enforcement agencies to prosecute, fine and imprison those who send out unsolicited and fraudulent emails. The acronym stands for Controlling the Assault on Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.

Last week, federal officials announced their second successful conviction under the law.

Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, Calif. pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Arizona to aiding and abetting a group that spammed more than 1 million users with pornographic emails and netted more than $1 million, court documents show.

Rogers joins Scottsdale resident Andrew Ellifson, who pleaded guilty last year in the same case, making him the first convicted in the nation under the new law.

Both are scheduled to be sentenced on June 5 and face up to five years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton of the District of Arizona said that his office plans to focus on larger spam rings and groups that peddle pornography, mostly through complaints from the public.

"Spam e-mails are kind of a home invasion," Charlton said.
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