“Spam King” Faces Federal Allegations Over Facebook Scam


Sanford Wallace, the spammer whose activities have been dated back all the way to the 90’s, is facing criminal charges for the first time in two decades. He’s accused of hacking into Facebook accounts and sending 27 million spam messages throughout 2008 and 2009 as a part of a PPC scam.

Wallace turned himself in on Thursday.

On top of these latest allegations, Wallace already has a history of taking on Facebook and leveraging it as a platform to carry out his dirty deeds. The social network sued the touted “Spam King” (aka “Spamford”) for $711 million a civil lawsuit that it later won, and banned him from the site. Nevertheless, he is also suspected of having opened a Facebook account after the judgment and visited the site during a domestic flight, which is another reason the social network released a positive statement after news first broke out.

”We applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI to bring spammers to justice,” Facebook said in an e-mailed statement. “Now Wallace also faces serious jail time for this illegal conduct. We will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers or others who attempt to harm Facebook or the people who use our service.””

Wallace could be sentenced to more than 16 years in prison if found guilty.

It’s no wonder Wallance decided that Facebook is going to be his weapon of choice, he’s only one of many spammers who have taken a similar approach. The reason is the effective hunt of law enforcement agencies’ worldwide after  botnets, which have been shut down one after another in recent months.

Spammers are resorting to trickier means to get to gain users’ attention and trust, the key to achieving their desired results. Search is one of those means, following trends and targeting specific search phrases such as Amy Winehouse and Osama Bin Laden.

Gaining user trust is one of the most important aspects of a successful cyberattack, on any scale. From Facebook spamming to the much more sophisticated campaign against government defense contractors that was uncovered last month.