China overtakes the U.S. as the biggest source of spam


The situation with spam has been the same for many years now and 2014 was no exception. Useless emails are still abundant, annoying, and wasteful. There was one change that happened in the last quarter, however: China eclipsed the U.S. as the biggest source of spam.



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Spam decreases 82% since last year


225 billion emails were sent per day in July 2010.

There was a whole lot less spam sent today than there was a year ago. The graphic above illustrates how there were more than 225 billion spam emails sent per day in July, 2010.  It also shows in June, 2011, that number has dropped to approximately 40 billion. That’s an 82.22% decrease in spam over a year.


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World’s Largest Source of Spam Email Shut Down By Microsoft and U.S. Marshals


The scale of the shut down is unprecedented.

The world’s most prolific source of spam emails has been shut down in a series of coordinated raids by Microsoft and US federal authorities.  The Rustock botnet, an international network of virus-infected computers, had for years generated billions of emails per day, promoting unlicensed online pharmacies and cut-price impotence pills.


Spam in Decline After Disappearance of Russian Ringleader

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Law enforcement agencies periodically dismantle spam organizations, and successful campaigns inevitably lead to fleeting, yet wondrous, periods of diminished e-mail junk. Well, we’ve apparently entered one of those temporary stays from trash, so enjoy those Viagra-free inboxes while you can…

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If The Internet Always Told the Truth

true facebook 1234

The 2009 Ricky Gervais movie The Invention of Lying imagined a world in which everyone always told the truth and lying (for good or ill) had never existed. Jon Wolf of College Humor has created a series of graphics illustrating an Internet in which everyone always told the truth, including the hot girl on Facebook who you’ve never seen before, but wants to be your friend.

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‘Godfather of Spam’ Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

Alan Ralsky 562

Alan Ralsky, the self-proclaimed ‘Godfather of Spam’, has been jailed after being convicted of committing wire and mail fraud.
Alan M. Ralsky, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Spam” who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in June, was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison, the Department of Justice said.
Ralsky, 64, allegedly was the mastermind of an e-mail spamming network that gained the attention of authorities and Microsoft in 2004. He and his associate Scott Bradley, 48, were convicted of conspiring to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and to violate the CAN-SPAM Act; and for committing wire fraud, engaging in money laundering, and violating the CAN-SPAM Act.
They also were given five years of supervised release after prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000 that the federal government seized in 2007. Both men are from West Bloomfield, Mich.
Two additional associates – How Wai John Hui, 54, a resident of Hong Kong and Canada; and John S. Bown, 45, of Fresno, Calif. – were sentenced Tuesday.
“Through this conspiracy Ralsky and the others were able to manipulate the stock market and maximize their profit,” Andrew G. Arena, special agent in charge for the FBI, said in a DOJ news release. “They flooded our e-mail boxes with unwanted spam e-mail and attempted to use a botnet to hijack our computers assist them in the scheme.”
From the DOJ release:
According to court documents, from January 2004 through September 2005, Ralsky, Bradley, Judy Devenow, Bown, William Neil, James Bragg, James Fite, Hui, Francis Tribble and others allegedly engaged in a related set of conspiracies designed to use spam e-mails to manipulate thinly traded stocks and profit by trading in those stocks once their share prices increased after recipients of the spam e-mails traded in the stocks being promoted. …
According to court documents, many of the spam e-mails promoted thinly traded “pink sheet” stocks for U.S. companies owned and controlled by individuals in Hong Kong and China. The spam e-mails contained materially false and misleading information or omissions and were created and sent using software programs that made it difficult to trace them back to the conspirators. According to the indictment, the conspirators used wire communications, the U.S. mail and common carriers to perpetrate their frauds. The conspirators also engaged in money laundering involving millions of dollars generated by their manipulative stock trading.
Microsoft, for its part, was elated to the point of posting on its Microsoft on the Issues blog. Tim Cranton, associate general council, congratulated the prosecution for successfully putting Ralsky, Bradly, Hui and Bown behind bars.
“Yesterday’s sentencing is a significant success and sends a clear message that the courts take this type of illegal conduct seriously,” Cranton wrote. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of law enforcement and prosecutors, even the most successful and sophisticated spammers may find themselves behind bars for a very long time.”
As with most criminal cases, Microsoft turned evidence over to the DOJ to assist with the investigation, Cranton said.

Alan Ralsky, the self-proclaimed ‘Godfather of Spam’

Alan M. Ralsky, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Spam” who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in June, was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison, the Department of Justice said.

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Three Researchers From Microsoft Find Way To Trace Malicious Users


Microsoft team find a way to trace compromised machines used to attack other computers

Anonymity on the Internet can be both a blessing and a curse. While the ability to hide behind anonymous proxies and fast-changing Internet protocol (IP) addresses has enabled freer speech in nations with repressive regimes, the same technologies allow cybercriminals to hide their tracks and pass off malicious code and spam for legitimate communications.

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Some Products Flying Off Shelves Despite The Recession

Products That Are Bucking The Recession

Products bucking the recession

It’s not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.

Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven’t stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.

Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding color in a bottle than from sun-worshipping on a faraway beach.

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