Will the real spam king please stand up?

Many vie for the title, but only one can be crowned the true Spam King, Bane of Internet Users.

Robert Alan Soloway

Aliases: Badvertise500, Oregondude541, worldmailer541

Current Status: About to Serve 47 Months in Federal Prison

Soloway's Newport Internet Marketing Corporation started out in 1997 by selling bogus "opt in" e-mail lists to spammers. Then Soloway got into the spamming business himself, using botnets to spew billions of junk e-mails on behalf of his clients. In 2005, Microsoft sued Soloway for spoofing Hotmail and MSN addresses in his spam and won a US$7.8 million judgment. That same year, Soloway was ordered to pay US$10 million to a small Oklahoma-based ISP. In a message posted on a spammers forum, Soloway mocked these judgments:

"Neither I, nor my company will be for filing bankruptcy and Microsoft will not be collecting a single dime from me, nor has anyone ever collected a single dime from me from any lawsuit I have been in.... The Microsoft lawsuit was the most enjoyable lawsuit I have been in, in a long time. I met up with all of them and had fun through the entire process:)"

In May 2007 the FBI arrested the 28-year-old for a wide range of illegal activities. In March of this year Soloway pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, e-mail fraud, and tax evasion (just 3 of the 40 counts he was charged with), and in July, he was sentenced to 47 months in the pokey.

Wonder how much fun he's having now?

Spam Royalty Rank: Baron of Botnets

Vardan Kushnir

Alias: None

Current Status: Pushing Daisies

He's been called "Russia's most despised Internet figure," and that's saying a lot. At his peak, Kushnir spewed 25 million e-mails a day to promote his own language tutoring businesses, overloading servers and causing many ISPs worldwide to blacklist any e-mails coming from the .ru domain--much to the chagrin of legitimate Russian Netizens who found it impossible to communicate with the rest of the world. He taunted Russian government officials and alienated employees by refusing to pay them.

When the 35-year-old Kushnir was bludgeoned to death in July 2005 --allegedly in "self defense" by three women he'd picked up in a bar in Moscow--the reaction in the Russian press was largely gleeful. No one has been charged in the crime.

Spam Royalty Rank: Count of the Cossacks

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags spam

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Tynan

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?