by Mike Masnick

Man Arrested For Social Networking Spam And Extortion

from the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-no-one dept

With all of these various social network apps, one of the claims that many make is that it protects you from spam, by only allowing people within your inner circle (or a few rings out) to email you -- rather than giving everyone access to everyone. Well, apparently one teen thought that was too restrictive and worked out a way to spam everyone on MySpace, the social networking service that recently surpassed Friendster in popularity. To make matters worse, he then approached MySpace and asked if he could be given the exclusive rights to spam MySpace members. When ignored, he threatened to reveal how he spammed everyone to other spammers. In response, MySpace went to the authorities, and the guy has now been arrested. Yet another reminder that each one of these sites that you give all your info to may not do the greatest job protecting it.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Howie, Feb 19th, 2005 @ 2:57pm

    They did protect users

    MYSpace did a great job of protecting its users. The bad guy did not get member email addresses or any private information. And MYSpace arrested him -- sedning a serious message to other spammers not to mess with them. 18 years in jail!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2005 @ 7:53am

    odd I never got spammed

    If he spammed everyone on my space, he must have missed me.

    sounds like making a mountain out of a Molehill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Tim, Dec 23rd, 2006 @ 12:37am

    Spam sucks

    But I didn't get any of his message either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    richard, May 5th, 2007 @ 5:57pm

    18 years is probably a bit harsh... but damn, what did he think myspace was gonna say when he asked if he could spam their users exclusively?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Who?, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:47am

    It's the same as writing a computer virus, then demanding that all the social networking sites pay up a ransom demand to innoculate themeslves against your code hack. MySpace did the right thing by reporting it. This is one of the areas investigated by the FBI ( 18 yrs is probably an accumulation of charges pressed against the guy, not specifically for one offense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Rob Lawrence, Apr 6th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Social Networking

    Honestly, I think the era of social networking will be gone soon. Where are our privacy rights? The amount of time spent online dealing with these issues is taking precious hours away from actually living. My 2 cents. Warm Regards, Rob

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Social Network Spammer, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    This seems more like a PR campaign...

    Seems more like a little piece of created propaganda to me. I mean, there probably was a guy who did this, etc... and myspace did get him arrested, but this does not mean that myspace will go out of their way to make sure every spammer gets arrested or anything like that... nor the other social networks. Every once and awhile, these big corporations like Fox (Myspace owners) and the RIAA like to make a big story out of arresting someone for something thousands or millions of people do. It's kind of like in more barbaric times and cultures where victors put their enemies heads on pikes... did that mean every other enemy would actually end up there? No. It's just a scare tactic to imply such.

    I have a friend who was hired by a "private organization" to go out and find a person who they could sue, who was downloading copyrighted music. He sort of knew what their intent was but needed the money. After he got them a name, address, etc. he gave it to the company and got paid. Two weeks later, he saw the guy's name in the paper for the same problems. Sure, doing things like spamming and downloading copyrighted music is illegal in the states, but like drugs... doesn't stop people from doing it. And out of all of the drug users, only a small percentage get caught, and then they get their "heads on pikes"... they become proven points for some large company, government or whoever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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