Tokyo police have arrested a man for allegedly sending 2.2 billion spam messages, according to news reports.
The 25-year-old named Yuki Shiina allegedly bought 600,000 e-mail addresses off the internet for £450 and earned over £9,000 from the spam campaign that promoted online gambling and dating sites.
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Police acted after an internet service provider complained about the volume of spam. It appears that Shiina faked the sender information on the e-mails in an attempt to avoid detection. This broke Japanese laws and allowed police to act.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security software vendor Sophos, said, "No-one who hears about a single person believed to have sent 2.2 billion spam e-mails can be in any doubt as to the scale of the problem."
Mark Murtagh, technical director of Websense, an internet filtering firm, said 74% of mail aimed at corporate addresses was spam.