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BizReport : Blogs & Content : January 23, 2007


Richter Scales MySpace Security

MySpace is drawing itself up against one of the world’s top three spammers.

by Helen Leggatt

While already dealing with lawsuits filed against them for allowing adult predators to target teenagers on its site, MySpace is now dishing out its own lawsuits. This time to a well-known spammer, Scott Richter.

They have alleged that Richter and his companies, including Mediabreakway.com and OptInRealBig.com, compromised MySpace user’s account in a phishing scam and proceeded to send out millions of spam emails. Either that or he acquired a list of contacts from a third party.

Using phishing techniques to obtain account access information, via a fake login page on which users are asked to re-enter their name and password, spam programs can log in to an account and use the person’s friend list to distribute more spam. Because of the social networking aspect of MySpace that spam appears to be sent from a trusted friend, unlike readily identifiable junk emails, and is more likely to be opened.

In its quest to squeeze out spam, MySpace has bolstered its defences. Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor, was hired back in April, 2006, to head up online security along with extra lawyers, software developers and security other experts.

"We're committed to protecting our community from phishing and spam," said Nigam. "If it takes filing a federal suit to stop someone who violates the law and damages our members' experience, then that's what we'll do."

Richter is a notorious spammer and just two years ago was successfully sued for $7 million in damages by Microsoft.

Tags: Microsoft, MySpace, phishing, spam










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