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

« Update on US vs Chris "Rizler" Smith | Main | Master of his domains »

May 20, 2005

One billion spams

Chris SmithWhile Christopher Smith is dealing with charges of drug fraud in Minnesota, he's also facing a big lawsuit from America Online.

AOL's suit, filed March 29 in a Virginia federal court, alleges that Smith and his company Advistech sent more than 1,130,000,000 (1.13 billion) spams to AOL members over a six-month period at the start of 2003.

The 211-page complaint also provides some interesting details on a nasty spammer tactic: hijacking Internet Protocol netblocks assigned to others. AOL claims that in early 2003, Smith hijacked eight "/16" netblocks (each with 65,536 IP addresses) by tricking ARIN, the non-profit that allocates Internet resources.

AOL says Smith then used the network addresses to send more than a billion spams for drugs, cable descramblers, penis pills, and college diplomas from January through July 2003.

Smith and his associates are also suspected of hijacking dozens of other netblocks for spamming purposes.

AOL is suing for $1.7 million in statutory damages under Virginia's computer crime law, as well as compensatory, punitive, and other damages to be determined at trial. Smith's Advistech is incorporated in Costa Rica.

[Update: The Minneapolis StarTribune has two articles about the crackdown on Smith (free registration required):

Burnsville online pharmacy assets seized

Owner was known as Rizler, the spammer]

Posted by brian at May 20, 2005 3:34 PM


Do you have a link to the AOL complaint?

Posted by: CyberCrimeLaw at May 24, 2005 3:11 PM

Sorry, but the complaint is a 6-Mb PDF file, and for some reason MT won't let me upload it.

Posted by: Brian at May 24, 2005 3:41 PM

Posted by: Dan at July 6, 2005 8:54 AM


Weblog authors are solely responsible for the content and accuracy of their weblogs, including opinions they express,
and O’Reilly Media, Inc., disclaims any and all liability for that content, its accuracy, and opinions it may contain.

All trademarks and registered trademarks appearing on spamkings.oreilly.com are the property of their respective owners.

O'Reilly Home | Privacy Policy

© 2004 O'Reilly Media, Inc.
For assistance with this site, email: