Myspace Wins Largest Settlement in Spam Case

By May 15, 2008

Social networking site Myspace has won a landmark decision against spammers on its site by being awarded the largest anti-spam award ever recorded, according to the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins ruled in

favor of the social-networking site, awarding them $234 million in damages against two of the most notorious spammers.

She awarded $157.4 million against the pair for spamming and $1.5 million for phishing, with an additional $63.4 million against Rines under the 2003 anti-spam law CAN-SPAM.

Sanford Wallace, best known as the “Spam King,” and Walter Rines used Myspace to direct traffic to other Web sites where they would entice users into spending money.

By creating their own accounts or using those of other people through stolen passwords, the two men sent hundreds of thousands of messages to users asking them to check out interesting videos or Web sites.

They would make money through the number of hits on their site or by selling things such as ring tones.

"MySpace has zero tolerance for those who attempt to act illegally on our site," said MySpace's chief security officer, Hemanshu Nigam, in an interview with the Associated Press. "We remain committed to punishing those who violate the law and try to harm our members," he said.

According to Myspace, the pair sent over 735,000 messages to users. CAN-SPAM entitles the social-networking site to $100 for each of the messages, and that figure triples when the messages are intentionally sent.

It is common for sites to never collect such monetary awards, but nonetheless Myspace sees the victory as a warning to other hackers and hopes it will deter them from spamming or phishing on the world’s most popular social-networking site.

By Danny Scuderi
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