A man in the United States is being charged with excessive spamming on Facebook after turning himself in to the authorities. And by excessive spamming we’re talking about 27 million messages.
The “Spam King” (real name Sanford Wallace) denies the charges alleged by prosecutors that he developed a program that breached Facebook’s spam filters and lured users into submitting their account information. If found guilty, Mr Wallace could be facing up to 10 years in prison.
According to the prosecution, Wallace’s program would post messages on users’ walls that would appear to be from their friends, urging them to visit another website where their account data would then be harvested. The charges continue, saying that people would be redirected to an affiliate site that allowed Mr Wallace to accrue “substantial revenue”. It is also alleged that this program retrieved lists of Facebook users’ friends and posted spam messages on their walls.
Between November 2008 and March 2009 around 500,000 Facebook accounts were compromised, leading to upwards of 27 million spam messages being sent. Sanford Wallace is charged with six counts of electronic mail fraud, three counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and two counts of criminal contempt. In 2009 he was also sued by Facebook and ordered by a judge not to access Facebook’s computer network – something that prosecutors say he has done repeatedly this year.
The case continues.