Dutch authorities crack down on botnet and spammers

Quite a lot of activity by the Dutch authorities late last week after a botnet gang were sentenced to jail and a heavy-duty spammer was fined by the telecoms watchdog.

In the botnet gang saga, two Dutch hackers received jail sentences for using a zombie network, thought to be one of the largest ever seen, to commit identity theft.

Using the W32/Codbot worm (aka Toxbot), the pair were said to be logging banking data from thousands of punters, and then using this information to purchase iPods, digital cameras and games consoles.

The 20-year old leader of this gang has been sentenced to two years in prison and fined 9,000 euros, and his 28-year old accomplice received an 18 month jail term plus a fine of 4,000 euros.

Both men were released last week, however, as they'd served enough time whilst on remand for the case.

Over in Dutch spam-land, meanwhile, a super-spammer was fined 75,000 euros by Opta, the Dutch equivalent of Ofcom, for sending out billions (and that's no exaggeration -Ed) of spam messages on behalf of foreign Web sites such as Badcow and Datinggold.

The man, who has not been identified by the Dutch media, is reported to have earned at least 52,000 Euros from his spamming exploits.

It is, of course, notable that the Dutch authorities are taking action against these Internet scumbags. And in the UK? Over to you Prime Minister...