Illustration for article titled Giant International Spam Ring Busted, Your Inbox Still Filled With Viagra Ads

In a victory that ought to lower your daily intake of unsolicited emails by 0.7%, U.S. authorities have shut down one of the largest spam rings in the world. The group was known amongst spam fighters as HerbalKing, and, at one point, delivered up to one-third of all spam on the Internet. The global reach of its networks gives you a taste of just how hard it is to find and prosecute these guys. The two alleged organizers hail from different sides of the planet—one a New Zealander living in Australia, and the other an American living in Texas. Servers in China hosted websites that emails would link to. Operatives in Cyprus and Georgia would process credit card information, and drugs—including Zoloft and Lipitor—would be shipped from India. Even though their assets have been frozen, antispam researchers doubted that spam volumes would decrease. Spam now accounts for 90% of all email on the internet, and even if these servers have stopped sending, a new network is undoubtedly already prepping to spring up and take its place. [NYTimes]


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