70 months in jail for convicted AOL phisher

June 19, 2007 Sophos Press Release

Behind bars
Jeffrey Goodin faces nearly six years in jail for his phishing offences.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed the news that a man has been sentenced to 70 months in prison after phishing credit card information from internet users.

47-year-old Jeffrey Brett Goodin of Azusa, California, has been sent to jail for nearly six years after using several different compromised Earthlink email accounts to send thousands of unsolicited emails posing as AOL's billing department. The phishing emails directed recipients to bogus payment websites. Goodin was also convicted on a number of other counts including wire fraud, possession of unauthorized credit cards, misuse of the AOL trademark, and attempted witness harassment.

The court heard that it cost Earthlink nearly $1 million to detect and fight the phishing attempt, and he was ordered to pay a total of $1,002,885.58 to victims by US District Judge Christina Snyder.

"Goodin's sentence sends out a strong message to other hackers tempted to engage in phishing and identity theft that their criminal activities will not be tolerated by the authorities," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Phishing and other forms of identity theft are on the rise, and it's all too easy for internet users to be duped into believing they are handing over their details to someone they can trust."

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend them from the threats of spam, spyware, hackers and viruses.