MySpace spammers fined a record £117m in US

MySpace has won a record payout of £117m in the US against spammers on its social network.

MySpace has won a record payout of £117m in the US against spammers on its social network.

MySpace won its court case against US spammers Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines.

The payout, the largest ever under the CAN-SPAM Act, means that Sanford "Spamford" Wallace and his business partner Walter Rines are obliged to refund the social networking website for the cost of handling more than 700,000 junk messages, and for the cost of handling complaints it received from its users.

Wallace is already known on the web as a prolific money-making spammer.

The court heard that the duo created MySpace accounts and stole passwords through phishing to commandeer existing ones to send their spam messages.

The spammers made money through advertising and the selling of goods such as ringtones.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at web security firm Sophos, said, "The judgment against the spammers is astronomical, because under the terms of the CAN-SPAM law each spam message entitles MySpace to £50 in damages.

"That triples when the spam is sent 'willfully and knowingly'. In the war against spam it is right that large companies suffering should have a heavy stick like this to hit the spammers with," he said.

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