The Spam Diaries

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

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another spammer in the slammer — Michael Dolan

While all the world's attention has been on Robert Soloway, other spammers have been quietly getting their comeuppance.

Today's story concerns Michael Dolan who's just been sentenced to seven years in jail plus three years of supervised release. He's pled guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft.

His scheme, along with five other people, was to troll AOL chat rooms for user ids. Those user's then would receive "greeting card" spam which quietly installed malware on the victim's computers. The next time the victim attempted to log onto AOL, the malware would ask for credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other personal info. If the user refused to cough up, the malware prevented them from logging in.

There were also more traditional email phishes asking for AOL billing details.

On top of all of this, Dolan engaged in various forms of witness tampering, including a death threat, and had violated a previous probation for computer crime.

Dolan's scam brought in over $400,000 from 250 victims. As might be expected, his lawyer tried to use the insanity defense, as was the case with Soloway.

Full coverage at ars technica and InfoWorld.


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