The spam promoted a Japanese dating website.
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned
companies to abide by anti-spam laws following the arrest of a man
suspected of sending 5.4 billion spam emails promoting his dating
Japanese authorities arrested 47-year-old Yoshimitsu Hirono,
president of Tokyo-based dating website Takumi Tsushin, along with
three other suspects. Approximately 90 million spam emails a day
are said to have been sent promoting the site over a two month
According to reports, the four men have admitted the allegations
"Competition between websites is fierce, and if found guilty
these men would not be
the first to have used illegal means to get an edge over their
rivals," said Graham
Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "In
increasingly aggressive markets some businesses may turn to illegal
spamming in their attempt to increase marketshare. Companies need
to know that by spamming they could find themselves drawing
attention from the international law enforcement agencies, and end
up with a unpleasant date in court."
Hirono and the other men are said to have remotely used a bank
of 128 computers located in China's Heilongjiang province in order
to send the spam messages.
"China ranks as the second-worst
country in the world for relaying spam, but that doesn't mean
that the spammers themselves are based there," continued Cluley.
"Spammers may make use of computers in China to make investigations
more complicated and to take advantage of lower infrastructure
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses
from the threats of spam, spyware and malware.