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18 Apr 2006

First spammer found guilty under Australian Spam Act

Spammer sent more than 56 million junk email messages

Man at PC
Mansfield sent over 50 million spam emails.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed news that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has successfully prosecuted its first spammer under Australia's Spam Act laws.

The Perth, Western Australia-based spammer, Wayne Mansfield, and his company Clarity1, were found to have illegally sent more than 56 million spam messages in the 12 months since the Act was introduced in April 2004. 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.

Justice Nicholson of the Federal Court in Perth, rejected defense pleas that recipients had consented to receive the spam emails. The federal court will determine what penalty Mansfield should receive at a later date.

"The ACMA is to be congratulated for developing and presenting a thorough case against Wayne Mansfield, and for putting an end to the huge amounts of spam originating from his company's servers," said Rob Forsyth, Regional Managing Director for Sophos Asia Pacific. "Australia's Spam Act is a first step towards eradicating locally produced spam. However, it is only through the combination of international cooperation, local legislation, law enforcement, technology enforcement and user education that will help put a stop to spam."

ACMA and Australia's Internet Industry Association recently registered the world's first legislatively-backed industry code of practice to counter spam.

Sophos recommends that companies protect their email gateways with a consolidated solution to defend against viruses, spyware and spam. Businesses should also secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated protection.

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.