Weight-loss spammer Daniel Lin pleads guilty

January 18, 2006 Sophos Press Release

Behind bars
Daniel Lin is due to be sentenced in May.

Daniel Lin of West Broomfield, Detroit, has pleaded guilty to sending millions of spam emails in April 2005 from hacked computers belonging to the Ford Motor Company, Amoco, Unisys, the US Army Information Centre, and the Administrative Office of US Courts.

Lin is scheduled to receive his sentence on 16 May, and likely to face a jail term of at least two years. He could also face a fine of up to $250,000.

According to the authorities, Lin sent spam emails selling bogus diet aids, herbal remedies and illegally imported erectile dysfunction drugs from India, and generated more than $100,000. The US Attorney's Office said that the drugs were sold without prescriptions, in breach of Food and Drug Administration regulations.

"People who buy medicines marketed via spam messages are not only encouraging the spammers to send more of their nuisance emails, but are also potentially putting their lives at risk," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Daniel Lin is unlikely to be sending any more spam, but there are plenty of other spammers out there prepared to make a quick buck with their unwanted marketing messages. All computer users should defend their email addresses with up-to-date anti-spam software, and remember to never buy goods marketed via spam."

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