If convicted Robert Soloway could receive a sentence of up to 65
years in prison.
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 tens of millions of unwanted commercial
Police in Seattle, Washington, arrested 27-year-old Robert
Soloway, after he was indicted on charges of mail fraud, identity
theft and money laundering. Dubbed the "Spam King" by prosecutors,
it is claimed that Soloway used a large zombie network of hijacked
computers to send millions of spam email messages.
Some reports have claimed that Soloway, who has pleaded not
guilty to all the charges, has made $1.6 million in the last four
years through his company Newport Internet Marketing.
"Businesses need to abide by the law, and be careful not to
engage in spamming innocent internet users with their unwanted
messages. Furthermore they should take measures to ensure that
firms they hire to send marketing messages for them are not
breaking the law," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "Hackers have no qualms about
commandeering innocent peoples' computers without their knowledge
to spew out spam rather than using their own PCs. An arrest of a
single suspected spammer is unlikely to relieve the pressure on the
typical person's email inbox, but does send out a clear message
that the authorities are serious about pursuing those who send out
If convicted, Soloway could face a sentence of up to 65 years in
Earlier this year, a Sophos survey
revealed that five percent of computer users admit to having
purchased goods sold via spam.
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses
from the threats of spam, spyware, hackers and viruses.