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Spam Gangs and the War in Your Inbox

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/03/2016 Genia Stevens, MBA
EMAIL © Infadel via Getty Images EMAIL

Blogger Amanda Melkonian contributed to this article.
According to a February 2015 study by The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, there are 2.5 billion email users worldwide. These users receive and send an estimated 205 billion emails daily - and nearly half of those are spam.
Individual business email users received an average of 84 emails per day with 13 of those being spam. In a 2012 McKinsey Global Institute report, the average office worker spends 28 percent of working hours managing their email account. This equates to roughly 14 hours of a typical 50-hour work week. In 2014, approximately 58 percent of companies lost up to 3 hours of productivity as a result of a spam incident.
Interesting spam statistics:

  • The three top sources of spam are: U.S (14.59%), Russia (7.82%), and China (7.14%)
  • The three top targets of spam are: Germany (19.59%), U.K. (6.31%), and Brasil (6.04%)
  • Up to 80% of the world's spam activity is generated by a hard-core group of 100 known persistent gangs

While the sheer volume of emails consumers and businesses receive day-to-day can cost them precious time, wading through spam also costs money, 20 billion dollars a year to be exact. This figure represents the money spent fighting spam, lost productivity due to spam, money spent on purchases due to spam and dollars that were spent and lost due to phishing or identity theft scams.
Can we win the fight against spam?
With both individuals and businesses reliant on email as a main source of communication and advertising, it has become a main goal of email providers to create stronger spam filters for their users; however, this has the potential to decrease the effectiveness of real email marketing campaigns. Today, spam filters are becoming increasingly better at weeding out unwanted messages that they can sometimes generate false positives for legitimate businesses' marketing emails.
In 2014, GFI Software, a web and mail security developer, surveyed 200 US IT decision makers and found that two-thirds have experienced false positives, with almost half experiencing a false positive up to three times a year.
What about spam laws?
Spam laws don't explicitly tell marketers to stop sending unsolicited commercial email messages, but how to do so legally. This can cause real ones to get caught in spam filters and makes it legal for unwanted messages to get through.
Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is the law that sets the requirements for commercial email usage. This law does not ban direct marketing email messages. Direct marketing email messages in the U.S. may be sent to anyone, without permission, until the recipient explicitly requests that they cease or opt-out.
Each email is required to have the following:
  • A clear and accurate sender identity.
  • An accurate subject line.
  • Clear and easy opt-out instructions.
  • A physical postal address and company details.
  • A valid return address.

So, about those spam gangs . . .
Here's a list of the top 10 spam gangs in the world. This list is list republished from
#1. Canadian Pharmacy -UkraineA long time running pharmacy spam operation. They send tens of millions of spams per day using botnet techniques. Probably based in Eastern Europe, Ukraine/Russia. Host spammed web sites on botnets and on bulletproof Chinese web hosting.
#2. Dante Jimenez / Aiming Invest - United StatesSpamwarez, lists, "bulletproof" hosting in the finest South Florida tradition. Working with worst cybercriminal botnet spammers. Now mostly involved in massive botnet spamming with hosting on hacked servers and Eastern European hosters.
#3. Michael Lindsay -United StatesLindsay's iMedia Networks is a full-fledged spam-hosting operation serving bulletproof hosting at high premiums to well known ROKSO-listed spammers. His customers spam via botnet zombies with spam payloads hosted offshore, tunneled back to his servers. He and the gang have been hijacking (stealing) IP address space from companies for years to spam from. Illegal in the USA.
#4. Yair Shalev / Kobeni Solutions - United States
High volume snowshoe spammer from Florida, (former?) partner-in-spam of ROKSO spammer Darrin Wohl. Son-in-law of ROKSO-listed spammer Dan Abramovich. Sued for fraud by the US FTC in 2014.
#5. Mike Boehm and Associates - United States
Snowshoe spam organization that uses large numbers of inexpensive, automated VPS hosting IPs and domains in whatever TLD is currently cheapest to send high volumes of spam to extremely dirty, scraped lists. Operates under many business and individual names.
#6. Yambo Financials - Ukraine
Huge spamhaus tied into distribution and billing for child, animal, and incest-porn, pirated software, and pharmaceuticals. Run their own merchant services (credit-card "collection" sites) set up as a fake "bank."
#7. Michael Persaud - United States
Long time snowshoe type spammer.
#8. Streamdirect TV a/k/a "Adober" gang - Canada
Spamming for many years. All fraud scam spam. Originally sold fake versions of Adobe/Skype, anti-virus programs, and other software, and unauthorized TV feeds. Have criminally hacked the accounts of ESPs and ESP customers to pump out their spam. Have serially abused cheap VPS servers from IPs at, which does not log connections and cannot trace abusers. Although a Canadian spam operation, they have a strong Russian influence.
#9. Alvin Slocombe / Cyber World Internet Services - United States
Bulletproof spam host operating Cyber World Internet Services / e-Insites, and currently spamming using a variety of aliases such as Brand 4 Marketing, Ad Media Plus, Site Traffic Network, RCM Delivery, and eBox.
#10. Jagger Babuin / BHSI - Canada
Romanian spammer now living in Vancouver BC. Also known as the "Dr Oz" spammer.

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