Properties raided by authorities searching for spam factory, Sophos reports

April 07, 2005 Sophos Press Release

According to media reports, officers of the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) have raided properties belonging to a company which allegedly sent tens of millions of spam emails.

The Perth company, which has not been named, is suspected of swamping computers around the country with millions of unsolicited commercial emails - breaking federal anti-spam legislation. As well as the company's offices, the home of the company's owner in the northern Perth suburb of Dianella was also raided. The contents of computer hard disks and other equipment was said to have been seized by investigators and computer forensics experts.

The Federal Magistrates Court has ordered the company and its owner to produce documents and other information about their activities within two weeks. The ACA says that it acted after receiving reports from members of the public claiming that they had received unsolicited spam messages from the company.

"More and more reports are emerging of alleged spammers being investigated by authorities around the world. The heat is certainly increasing for anyone who is trying to make a quick buck out of the internet at the expense of innocent users," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Sophos applauds the computer crime investigators in Australia for showing determination to stamp out spamming in their country."

Australia's anti-spam legislation came into effect in April 2004, and allows for penalties of up to AU $1.1 million a day for companies who repeatedly break the law.

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses from the threats of both spam and viruses; and that users do not open or reply to unsolicited emails.