A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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March 14, 2005

Hijacked by spammers

wwwhack.com logoA couple weeks ago, BellSouth announced that a Florida spammer named Charles Frye had just been sentenced to a year in prison for hijacking its customers' accounts in 2002 and using them to send spam.

There's no indication that Frye was a major spam king. But I thought it might be useful to understand his crime a little better, given that spammers are becoming quite creative of late in their search for "proxies" and other means of concealing the true origins of their spams.

As I report today in Hijacked by Spammers, a new article at O'Reilly Network, Frye was able to hijack the BellSouth user accounts using a common password cracker called WWWHack. (Screen grab here.) Once in control of the accounts, he was able to pump out millions of junk emails, most of them aimed at AOL users.

But Frye made a couple big mistakes that spoiled his little scam. The article looks at his case and also explores whether ISP account hijacking still remains an attractive option for criminal spammers.

Posted by brian at March 14, 2005 3:21 PM


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