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05 Jan 2006

Florida spammer receives $11 billion fine

Workers at PC
Over 280 million spam messages were sent to ISP users.

According to media reports, an Iowa-based ISP has been awarded $11.2 billion in a judgment against a Florida man who sent millions of unsolicited spam emails.

Robert W Kramer, owner of CIS Internet Services in Clinton, Iowa, filed a lawsuit against Florida-based James McCalla claiming that more than 280 million illegal spam messages were sent to CIS email accounts, advertising mortgages, debt consolidation services, pornographic and gambling websites.

The judgment handed down by US District Judge Charles R. Wolle on 23 December 2005, also prohibits McCalla from accessing the internet for three years.

"This judgment against a spammer is undoubtedly the biggest we have ever heard of," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Spam is not just a nuisance for individual computer users who find their inboxes clogged up with unwanted mail, but for ISPs who are hit in the pocket by having to pay for the bandwidth to deliver and store hundreds of millions of messages."

Kramer said that he thought it was unlikely that he would ever see any of the judgment money.

"I'm pleased with Judge Wolle's ruling," Kramer said in a statement. "It's a victory for every email user and every responsible ISP. It's proof our courts and Congress are committed to protecting the public."

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.