South Korean companies fined $55,000 for sending spam

February 09, 2004 Sophos Press Release

The South Korean Fair Trade Commission has fined 25 companies for sending unsolicited commercial messages via email and mobile phones. The fines total 64 million won (approximately $55,000).

According to the Fair Trade Commission this is the first time that the Seoul authorities have fined businesses for sending spam. Some of the companies are reported to have sent spam without identifying themselves, or continued to send spam even when customers asked to be removed from mailing lists.

"We will check such companies every six months," said Son In-ok, director of the consumer protection bureau at the Fair Trade Commission. "We are going to order companies to suspend business as well as fine them if they send messages about pornography sites to the young or if they continue to send mail to customers who requested to be removed from the mailing lists."

"This is just a tiny victory in the war against spammers. We need to see more countries taking action against those companies pumping out the unwanted advertisements that clog users' inboxes worldwide," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Sadly there is no evidence that the level of spam has reduced since laws targeting spammers have begun to be introduced. The message for companies pestered by spammers is simple - invest in a quality anti-spam solution at your email gateway."

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses from the threats of both spam and viruses.