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24 Jun 2005

Australia takes action against suspected 56 million email spammer, Sophos reports

Man at PC
The man is accused of sending 56 million spam emails.

The Australian Communications Authority is accusing a Perth man of sending 56 million spam email messages, in what is believed to be the first court action under Australia's Spam Act.

Wayne Mansfield, and his company Clarity1 (which also uses the name Business Seminars), have had proceeding launched against them in Perth's Federal Court and could face multi-million dollar fines if found guilty.

In April 2005, Sophos reported how authorities in Australia raided a suspected spam factory in Perth, during which the contents of computer hard disks and other material were seized.

It is now claimed that at least 56 million spam messages were sent from a network of computer servers around the world.

"Spam is a worldwide problem which knows no national boundaries, and computer crime authorities are working hard at tracking down the worst offenders," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "People can be deluged with spam sent from a computer on the other side of the world. As this is the first case under Australia's relatively new anti-spam legislation many people around the globe will be interested to see how the case progresses."

According to Dr Bob Horton, the acting chairman of the Australian Communications Authority, complaints about Mansfield's alleged spamming activities have been received from as far afield as the United Kingdom.

Australia's anti-spam legislation came into effect in April 2004, and allows for penalties of up to AU $1.1 million a day for companies who repeatedly break the law.

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

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.