Wistech.org Has Been "Joe Job"ed

Recently, wistech.org added a catch-all e-mail account. Since that time, hundreds of e-mails have been caught replying to e-mail addresses that wistech.org does not use and has never used. The content of these e-mails is obviously SPAM. Please be assured that these e-mails did not originate from wistech.org.

This abuse our domain name is called a "Joe Job". WATA has been informed that short of abadoning our domain, there is nothing we can do to prevent this. We are just as angry about this abuse as you are. We apologize.

WATA rarely initiates e-mail contact with anyone who does not already know us. WATA maintains only a handful of e-mails -- all of which are listed somewhere on this site. If you have signed up for a feed e-mail, it should come from feedblitz.com. If you receive something from an address not on this site, it is not from us. Deleting the message is the best response.

If you want to find the true source of the SPAM, the following link has information about how to read the headers on the e-mail. Go to SPAMCOP. The source IP address is buried in the header coding.

For more information about Joe Jobs.
(Warning: Content of Wikipedia may have changed since this link was established.)

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Spammer Receives 15-Month Sentence

Spammer Receives 15-Month Sentence
Engineer Stole, Sold AOL Screen Names

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 18, 2005; Page D05

A former America Online Inc. engineer was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison for stealing the company's entire subscriber list, which was used to send hundreds of millions of spam e-mails to AOL members.

Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., pleaded guilty in February to using another America Online employee's ID to break into the company's database and steal 92 million screen names used by the Dulles Internet company's nearly 30 million subscribers.

Full story.

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Microsoft Steps Up Pressure To Adopt Spam-Fighting System

Microsoft Steps Up Pressure To Adopt Spam-Fighting System

June 23, 2005

By KOMO Staff & News Services

NEW YORK - Microsoft Corp. is stepping up the pressure on e-mail senders to adopt its "Sender ID" spam-fighting technology despite problems that could send up to 10 percent of legitimate messages to junk folders.

By the end of the year, Microsoft's Hotmail and MSN services will get more aggressive at rejecting mail sent through companies or service providers that do not register their domain names with the Sender ID system.

Sender ID seeks to cut down on junk e-mail by making it difficult for spammers to forge e-mail headers and addresses, a common technique for hiding their origins.

The system calls for Internet service providers, companies and other domain name holders to submit lists of their mail servers' unique numeric addresses. On the receiving end, software polls a database to verify that a message was actually processed by one of those servers.

Full story.

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Judge Sentences Spammer to Nine Years

Judge Sentences Spammer to Nine Years

Apr 8, 8:38 PM (ET)

By MATTHEW BARAKAT

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A man convicted in the nation's first felony case against illegal spamming was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for bombarding Internet users with millions of junk e-mails.

However, Loudoun County Circuit Judge Thomas Horne delayed the start of Jeremy Jaynes' prison term while the case is appealed, saying the law is new and raises constitutional questions.

A jury had recommended the nine-year term for the Raleigh, N.C., man.

Jaynes, 30, who was considered among the top 10 spammers in the world at the time of his arrest, used the Internet to peddle pornography and sham products and services such as a "FedEx refund processor," prosecutors said. Thousands of people fell for his e-mails, and prosecutors said Jaynes' operation grossed up to $750,000 per month.

Full story.

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Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Spamming

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Spamming

By First Coast News Staff

ATLANTA, GA -- BellSouth announced today that its investigation of a spamming operation has resulted in a guilty plea from Charles Frye, of Daytona Beach, Fla.

Frye pled guilty to a charge which involved sending millions of deceptive "spam" e-mails using BellSouth® Internet Services accounts to Internet customers throughout 2002.

"This ruling is a true triumph for our customers," said Richard Burns, vice president – Internet service operations, BellSouth. "BellSouth will continue to assist and cooperate with law enforcement officials who prosecute Internet offenders. We are committed to protecting our customers, and will work to provide them with the highest quality Internet experience."

In the case, Frye pleaded guilty to an offense against intellectual property–computer fraud, which involved cracking user pass codes and hijacking BellSouth subscriber Internet accounts to send large amounts of spam.

Full story.

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Woman's Spam Conviction Thrown Out

Woman's Spam Conviction Thrown Out

By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 2, 2005; Page E01

A Loudoun County judge yesterday dismissed a North Carolina woman's conviction on felony spamming charges, saying there was insufficient evidence that she flooded tens of thousands of America Online e-mail accounts with unsolicited bulk advertisements. But the judge upheld the conviction of the woman's brother, who had been found guilty of the same crime.

At a hearing requested by defense attorneys, Circuit Judge Thomas D. Horne overturned the conviction of Jessica DeGroot, 28, saying he thought the jury, tasked with sorting through complex technological evidence and navigating a new Virginia anti-spam law, might simply have gotten "lost." Horne said he could not find "any rational basis" to find DeGroot guilty.

Full story.

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Pfizer and Microsoft Join Forces Against Viagra SPAM

Pfizer, Microsoft sue over illegal Viagra
Sites, spammers selling cheap versions of drug
Updated: 12:05 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2005

NEW YORK - Pfizer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said Thursday they filed parallel lawsuits against Web site operators and spam advertisers that they say sell illegal cheap versions of Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

Full story.

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Law Barring Junk E-Mail Allows a Flood Instead

Law Barring Junk E-Mail Allows a Flood Instead
By TOM ZELLER Jr.

year after a sweeping federal antispam law went into effect, there is more junk e-mail on the Internet than ever, and Levon Gillespie, according to Microsoft, is one reason.

Lawyers for the company seemed well on the way to shutting down Mr. Gillespie last September after he agreed to meet them at a Starbucks in Los Angeles near the University of Southern California. There they served him a court summons and a lawsuit accusing him, his Web site and 50 unnamed customers of violating state and federal law - including the year-old federal Can Spam Act - by flooding Microsoft's internal and customer e-mail networks with illegal spam, among other charges.

But that was the last the company saw of the young entrepreneur.

Mr. Gillespie, who operated a service that gives bulk advertisers off-shore shelter from the antispam crusade, did not show up last month for a court hearing in King County, Wash. The judge issued a default judgment against him in the amount of $1.4 million.

In a telephone interview yesterday from his home in Los Angeles, Mr. Gillespie, 21, said he was unaware of the judgment and that no one from Microsoft or the court had yet followed up. But he insisted that he had done nothing wrong and vowed that lawsuits would not stop him - nor any of the other players in the lucrative spam chain.

Full story.

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Two men pay an undisclosed amount to Earthlink

Alleged top spammers settle lawsuit
Two men pay an undisclosed amount to Earthlink
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:46 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2005ATLANTA - Two members of an alleged spamming ring paid Earthlink an undisclosed amount to settle a lawsuit, agreeing also to stop sending unsolicited e-mail, the Internet service provider said.

The two, Damon DeCrescenzo and David Burstyn, were sued last year by Atlanta-based EarthLink, which claimed they were part of a multi-state spamming operation that spewed more than 250 million illegal e-mails.

Full story.

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Verizon's Geographic Spam Policy Criticized

Verizon's Spam Policy Criticized

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 19, 2005; Page E01

For many Internet users, the idea that their service provider was particularly aggressive in cracking down on e-mail spam would be welcome news. But some of Verizon's 3 million high-speed Internet customers say the company is bungling the job and hurting their livelihoods.

Since mid-December, users have complained on Internet message boards and to Verizon customer service centers that they are not receiving legitimate inbound e-mail from Europe and Asia. Verizon, they say, has taken the unusual step of blocking nearly all mail from certain geographic areas because some networks in those regions are used by spammers.

Full story.

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Texas Attorney Gen. Sues Student Spammer

By BRANDI GRISSOM
The Associated Press
Friday, January 14, 2005; 8:35 AM

AUSTIN, Texas - The state attorney general filed a lawsuit against a 22-year-old college student and his business partner, accusing them of illegally sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited, misleading e-mails.

Ryan Pitylak, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, heads the fourth-largest spamming operation in the world, Attorney General Gregg Abbott said.

Full story.

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'Spam King' to Stop Invading Computers

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 4, 2005; 1:17 PM

CONCORD, N.H. -- Under an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, a man known as the "Spam King" will stop infecting computers with advertising programs until a federal lawsuit against him is resolved.

Stanford Wallace and his companies, SmartBot.net Inc. of Richboro, Pa., and Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc. of Rochester, are required by the agreement to send online ads only to people who visit their Web sites.

The government says Wallace used spyware to infiltrate computers, overwhelming them with ads and other programs. Then, he tried to sell programs he claimed would fix the problems. The government said the remedies do not work.

"The commission does believe this is great relief for consumers until the matter is ultimately resolved in the courts," said Laura Sullivan, a lawyer for the FTC. "This provides wonderful protection for consumers in the interim."

Full story.

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One Year After Law, Spam Still Out of the Can

One Year After Law, Spam Still Out of the Can

By David McGuire
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Monday, January 3, 2005; 8:50 AM

The nation's first law aimed at curtailing junk e-mail earned a mixed report card after a year on the books as few spammers faced legal action and recent surveys showed that spam makes up an even larger proportion of online messages.

Signed into law Dec. 16, 2003, the Can-Spam Act made it illegal to falsify the "from" and "subject" lines of e-mail solicitations. It also required senders of bulk e-mail to include a working "unsubscribe" link in their messages and to honor consumers' requests to be taken off their mailing lists. The law doesn't allow individual e-mail users to sue spammers -- an omission decried by anti-spam activists -- but it did open the door for state attorneys general and ISPs to mount a legal offensive.

Full story.

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AOL Spam Down 75 Pct; Net Spam Trends Reverse

Reuters
Monday, December 27, 2004; 12:50 PM


NEW YORK - You've got less spam, according to America Online, the world's largest online service.

The online unit of Time Warner Inc. on Monday said junk e-mail declined by more than 75 percent this year, based on its internal member reports.

Junk e-mail, known as spam, accounted for about 83 percent of computer traffic at one point this year, and have cost Internet providers about $500 million in wasted bandwidth, analysts have said.

Full story.

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Plea Rejected in AOL Spam Case

By Erin McClam
The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; 1:58 PM

NEW YORK -- A federal judge refused to accept a guilty plea Tuesday from a former America Online software engineer accused of stealing 92 million e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein of Manhattan federal court said he was not convinced Jason Smathers, 24, had actually committed a crime under new federal "can-spam" legislation that took effect earlier this year.

Smathers, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., planned to enter guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property. But the judge turned him away and scheduled another hearing for January.

The judge, who said he dropped his own AOL membership because he received too much spam, said it was not clear that Smathers had deceived anyone -- a requirement of the new law.

Full story.

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Judge Awards $1 billion in Spam Lawsuit

By Associated Press
December 18, 2004

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has awarded a Clinton Internet service provider over $1 billion in a lawsuit against companies that used the service provider's equipment to send spam, the Quad-Cities Times reported Saturday. ADVERTISEMENT
It's believed to be one of the largest judgments against companies accused of sending junk e-mails.

U.S. District Judge Charles Wolle ruled Friday that Robert Kramer's business, CIS Internet Services, was harmed by the unsolicited e-mails.

"It's definitely a victory for all of us that open up our e-mail and find lewd and malicious and fraudulent e-mail in our boxes every day,'' Kramer said.

Kramer is unlikely to ever collect the large judgment, which was made possible through an Iowa law that allows plaintiffs to claim damages of $10 per spam message, said his attorney, Kelly O. Wallace of Atlanta.

"We hope to recover at least his costs,'' Wallace said.

Full story.

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Unsubscribe

Remove me!
Do those unsubscribe links actually work, or are they just another spammer scam? A reporter goes undercover in the world of fake Rolexes to find the answer.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Brian McWilliams

Dec. 14, 2004 | Casper Jones is the head of BlackMarketMoney.com, a spam operation that's been pelting the Internet with junk e-mail for fake Rolex watches. I'm almost positive his name is a pseudonym. But does he know that Chris Smith is not my real name?

That's how I introduced myself last month, when I sent Casper an e-mail asking to join his spamming crew. I fibbed to him that I was a full-time bulk e-mailer looking for a new sponsor. I said that one of my business associates had recommended his program. (For authenticity, I lightly sprinkled typos and grammatical errors throughout the message.)

I wanted to be one of Casper's sales affiliates. In today's world of spam, a sales affiliate sends out junk mail on behalf of a spam-site operator or "sponsor," who assigns the affiliate a special tracking code to include in his e-mail ads. For every sale the affiliate's spams generate, he is paid a commission by the site operator. Sponsors also provide "remove" lists, spamming software, and other support to help their affiliates successfully market the site.

Since September, Casper and his associates had been clogging my various e-mail accounts with ads for a watch shop called Royal-Replicas.com (formerly onlinereplicastore.com). I filed several complaints with the Chinese Internet service provider hosting the site, to no avail.

I suppose I could have just clicked the "unsubscribe" links in the dozen or so spams they sent me every day. But I didn't trust these people one bit. I was sure that if I could get inside Casper's operation, I would find hard evidence confirming what savvy Internet users instinctively know: Trying to unsubscribe from spam is a fool's game.

Just look at the place. Royal-Replicas.com provides no physical mailing address in its junk e-mails or at the site. The domain's registration record lists someone in Spain as the owner. The site is hosted on a server in China, but the order page cites prices in Indian rupees as well as U.S. dollars. The headers of the spams reveal that many have been sent via "zombied" home computers. Even the headers of Casper's private e-mails are a fraud. (He routed all his messages to me through proxy computers in South Korea.)

The "About Us" page at Royal-Replicas.com doesn't help much, either. It contains little more than a bizarre rationale for buying its $300 knockoffs rather than the real thing: "Many people purchase watches that cost thousands of dollars and render the wearer liable to get their hand chopped off while walking home from a posh cocktail party."

Bulk e-mailers are required to honor list-removal requests under the U.S. CAN-SPAM law. But still it's common knowledge that clicking an unsubscribe link or handing over your e-mail address on a junk e-mailer's remove page is insane. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warns that unsubscribe links are "often just a method for collecting valid addresses that are then sent other spam." The FTC has sent warning letters to at least 77 marketers for their failure to honor unsubscribe requests.

Sure, a few spammers might take your name off to avoid trouble. But to most, you're merely confirming that they've found a live one. Next thing you know, they'll have sold your e-mail address to other spammers as "validated" -- or, in other words, ready for spamming.


Full story.

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Maryland judge overturns anti-spam law

Says statute sought to regulate commerce outside state's bordersThe Associated Press
Updated: 1:07 p.m. ET Dec. 14, 2004
ROCKVILLE, Md. - A Maryland judge has ruled the state's anti-spam law is unconstitutional.

The judge tossed out a suit against a New York e-mail marketer, saying the state law seeks to regulate commerce outside Maryland's borders.

Congress and more than three-dozen state legislatures have passed laws to limit junk e-mail advertising. Appeals courts in California and Washington state have upheld the spam laws and reversed lower court decisions similar to this latest judgment.

Full story.

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Microsoft Helps in Bogus Degrees Case

By David Koenig
The Associated Press
Friday, December 10, 2004; 5:27 AM

FRISCO, Texas - Some sleuthing by software giant Microsoft Corp. helped track down two brothers who authorities say sold bogus college degrees over the Internet, including an MBA that was issued to a housecat.

Officials in Pennsylvania cracked the case, tracking down the source of thousands of unsolicited e-mails. This week, they filed a lawsuit to shut down Trinity Southern University, run by Crain Barton Poe, 35, of Frisco, and Alton Scott Poe, 40, of St. Cloud, Fla.

Trinity Southern sent 18,000 e-mails that appeared to come from legitimate outfits such as cable operator Comcast Corp., Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Senate, said Barbara Petito, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.

Heeding complaints from the institutions about the hijacking of their Web sites, Microsoft helped track the e-mails to the Poes, Petito said.

Full story.

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Microsoft Sues More Spammers

By Elizabeth Millard
NewsFactor Network
December 2, 2004 1:22PM

Microsoft has filed seven more lawsuits against spammers, this time targeting those who violate the "brown-paper wrapper" provision of the CAN-SPAM law, which sets rules for sexually oriented e-mail solicitations. "We want to know who's hitting the 'send' button on this stuff," says a Microsoft lawyer.

Full story.

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Lycos Offers Program to Attack Spammers

By Daniel Woolls
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 30, 2004; 2:02 PM

MADRID, Spain -- At the risk of breaching Internet civility, Lycos Europe is offering computer-users a weapon against spam-spewing servers: a screen-saver program that automatically hits the offenders with data to slow them down.

Full story.

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Nine-Year Sentence Too Much for SPAM

The Nine-Year Itch
Sure, spam is a scourge. It's too bad a Virginia jury's tough sentence for a convicted spammer won't make a difference.

By Deborah Asbrand
November 30, 2004

The message from the jury in Loudoun County, VA, was unmistakable: For hurling unwanted bulk e-mail to millions of America Online subscribers, Jeremy Jaynes was getting the book thrown at him. After listening to eight days of testimony in a trial that was Virginia's first for its anti-spam statute, the 12-person jury recommended that the 30-year-old Jaynes spend nine years in prison.

Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore called the sentencing recommendation a victory. Jaynes' defense attorney called it shocking. One juror told a reporter that some panel members had pushed for a 15-year sentence.

For the Jaynes jury, the arc of spam's trajectory through the culture has carried it from being a clogger of in-boxes to a felony that merited a sentence on a par, in Virginia jurisprudence, with possession of child pornography. Observers say the emphatic message no doubt resonated among law-enforcement and judicial officials pursuing legal remedies. The widespread media attention may have had an educational affect on the public. The only group it's not likely to affect? Spammers.


Full story.

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Bill Gates Gets 4 Million E-Mails a Day

The Associated Press
Thursday, November 18, 2004; 9:02 AM

SINGAPORE -- Bill Gates might not use AOL, but he's definitely got mail. The Microsoft Corp. chairman receives millions of Internet messages a day, said Steve Ballmer, the company's chief executive. "Bill literally receives 4 million pieces of e-mail per day, most of it spam," Ballmer said Thursday.

Full story.

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$750,000 a Month Spammer

Trial Sheds Light on Spamming's Lucre

November 15, 2004

By MATTHEW BARAKAT
AP Business Writer

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) -- As one of the world's most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need.

Jaynes' business was remarkably lucrative; prosecutors say he grossed up to $750,000 per month. If you have an e-mail account, chances are Jaynes tried to get your attention, pitching software, pornography and work-at-home schemes.

Full story.

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Stopping SPAM

E-Mail Authentication Will Not End Spam, Panelists Say

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 11, 2004; Page E01

For consumers and businesses increasingly shaken by the growing onslaught of unwanted e-mail and the computer viruses and other nefarious hacking spam can bring, any hope for quick relief was soundly dashed yesterday during a government-hosted gathering of technology experts.

Several executives and academics speaking at a forum sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission said criminals are already steps ahead of a major initiative by e-mail providers to counter those problems by creating a system to verify senders of e-mail.

Full story.

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Convicted Spammer's Bail Set at $1M

Convicted Spammer's Bail Set at $1M

By Matthew Barakat
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 9, 2004; 7:57 AM

LEESBURG, Va. -- Bail was set at $1 million Monday for a North Carolina man awaiting sentencing in the nation's first felony prosecution of illegal distribution of junk e-mail, or spam.

Prosecutors had argued that Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh is too great a flight risk to be allowed bail, saying he's been squirreling away parts of his $24 million fortune in foreign bank accounts and faces up to nine years in prison.

Full story.

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Felony SPAM

Two Guilty in 1st Felony Spam Conviction

Thu Nov 4, 7:16 AM ET Business - AP

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer

LEESBURG, Va. - A brother and sister who sent junk e-mail to millions of America Online customers were convicted Wednesday in the nation's first felony prosecution of Internet spam distributors.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.