The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Details in the MySpace vs Richter case

Earlier, I briefly mentioned that MySpace was suing longtime spammer Scott Richter for phishing and spamming.

Today, I received a copy of the original complaint (scanned pdf, 13 pages). Here is an executive summary:

Richter is being sued in California under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the CAN SPAM act, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, California's Anti-Spam statute, Breach of Contract, Unfair Competition, Trespass to Chattels, and Conversion.

Co-defendants of Richter are Marat Nigmatzyanov and Yevgeniy Leschinskiy.

The lawsuit alleges that:
  • Richter and his co-defendants arranged for millions of spam "bulletins" to be sent through the MySpace network.
  • Defendants used stolen accounts to send the spam.
  • Defendants either phished the accounts themselves or obtained lists of phished accounts.
  • Spams were crafted to look like they came from friends of the recipients and included statements that appeared to come from legitimate MySpace users professing the legitimacy of the promotions.

MySpace asks that:
  • Richter et al be permanently enjoined from abusing MySpace, retaining the list of phished accounts and even accessing MySpace computers.
  • MySpace wants Richter to turn over the complete list of phished accounts.
  • MySpace wants damages in an amount still to be determined.
  • MySpace wants Richter to hand over any profits he made from abusing MySpace.
The MySpace user agreement forbids spam and mandates a $50/email penalty. The user agreement also forbids phishing, unauthorized use of other people's accounts, and various other illegal activities.

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