Koreans arrested for 1.6 billion spammed emails

I almost dropped my coffee cup this morning when I found out that two Koreans have been arrested in connection with a spamming group thought to have generated 1.6 billion spammed emails.

That's a lot of email. Apparently the two men - aged 20 and 26 - sent out this astonishing amount of email in the last four months of 2006.

Authorities in Seoul claim that the pair, both of whom are computer programmers, used the spam to obtain personal and financial information from around 12,000 victims which they then sold to other firms.

South Korea, of course, is the broadband centre of the world, with most users connecting to the Net at upwards of 10 Mbps, thanks to a fantastic country-wide broadband infrastructure.

According to Graham Cluley, Sophos' senior technology consultant and occasional Elvis impersonator (huh? -Ed) spammers are battering inboxes in their attempts to make fast money, sell fake goods, and - in the worst cases - steal identities.

And he's right too. But the volumes of spam are staggering. I was at a major ISP's headquarters the other week, visiting a pal, and was gobsmacked to hear that around 60 per cent of all emails are rejected as spam by the ISP's email servers before they even leave the building.

And that's before all the crap that ends up on my server here - two thirds of which is shunted into a spam folder.

Talk about the UK's email system creaking at the seams...