Former Spam King Out of Jail, Promises No More Spam

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-03-04 Print this article Print

The title really says it all.

Robert Soloway, the man better known as the "Spam King," was released Feb. 26 from the Federal Correctional Institution in Oregon. The man who admitted to sending more than 10 trillion spam messages in his career wil now have probation officers monitoring every e-mail message he sends for the next three years, according to

Under the plea deal, probation officers will also be monitoring what Web sites he visits, the article said.

"I'm being very careful. If I send out an e-mail, I'm not even going probably to CC it. I'll send a unique e-mail to each person," Soloway said.

He claims to have learned his lesson and that he won't go back to his spammy ways. "I don't expect anyone to trust anything I say until they see me making good," he said.

Instead, Soloway wants to devote his life to teaching consumers and businesses how to avoid the evils of spamming. It makes sense. Who else better to teach how to avoid it than the man who made a career out of bypassing the best filters and technology and choking user Inboxes?

"I would like to assist in some way by basically revealing what went on inside the cybercrime industry," he says. "If you don't know who you're up against, like in any war, you don't know what you're facing."

Considering he was arrested in 2007, he might not find a lot of students. There have been a lot of changes in spam techniques since he was at the top of the heap. Consider this: MySpace was the top social networking site when he was arrested.

Soloway wasn't just any other spammer. He also taught other spammers his methods. Security outfit Spamhaus began consistently blacklisting him in 2001 and later posted evidence "of Soloway hiring virus authors to create networks of spam zombies," according to Wired.

While he wouldn't discuss the details of his spam operation, he didn't deny using botnets. "I'm just going to say I tried all kinds of different methods," he says. "I cut corners and did things I shouldn't have done. I passed that gray line and was just out of control," he said. |

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