by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 4th 2008 10:31am
If you've followed the spam world at all over the years, you know the name Alan Ralsky. He was considered a top spammer for many, many years, and was sued by Verizon at one point back in 2001. However, many in the tech world know him best for an incident in 2002. The Detroit Free Press did a story on Ralsky, where reporter Mike Wendland interviewed him, and had him show off "the house that spam built," an 8,000 square-foot house in a Detroit suburb. That story made its way to Slashdot -- where some commenters decided to publish the address of "the house that spam built," leading many, many, many Slashdotters to sign Ralsky up for all kinds of physical junk mail. Ralsky did not see the irony. Three years later, Ralsky's house was raided by the FBI during an investigation, but nothing more was heard about that case, until now. It took over two years, but Ralsky and a bunch of others have been indicted -- and the spam part should be the least of his concerns. The charges include: "conspiracy, fraud in connection with electronic mail, computer fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud." That's because Ralsky wasn't just spamming products for sale, he was using a botnet to run a pump-and-dump scam on Chinese penny stocks. It's unclear why it took over two years for the indictment to finally show up, but there are likely to be quite a few folks in the anti-spam community who are thrilled that something finally happened to Ralsky.
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