Skip to main content

Spam king fined a million dollars

It seems that Microsoft and the State of Texas have been successful in their legal action against a university graduate (opens in new tab)who admitted sending an astonishing 25 million spam emails a day at the height of his activities.

Ryan Pitylak, 24, of Austin, has been fined (opens in new tab) a million dollars and - poor dear - is having to sell $430,000 house, luxury car and other assets to help pay the fine and legal bills.

On his personal blog (opens in new tab), Pitylak now claims that he has ceased his spamming operations (cue raucous laughter -Ed), and is offering his services to internet companies who wish to stop the spam he used to transmit.

Graham Cluley (opens in new tab), senior technology with Sophos (fx: doffs cap in reverence) says that Pitylak may not have much success in his new-found career:

"Spammers like Pitylak have shown themselves to be prepared to break the law in their eagerness to pump out unwanted marketing messages. Some companies may feel uncomfortable about working with someone who has shown a history of behaving unethically, without caring about the consequences for other Internet users," he said.

According to Cluley (opens in new tab), it is important that authorities make it clear that spamming is unacceptable, and show these Internet criminals that legitimate rewards cannot be gained on the back of their unsavoury activities.

So what would you have Pitylak do then Graham - become a criminal or go back to his old spamming ways?

The guy's got to earn a living somehow!...