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MySpace Sues Man for Spamming Using Member Accounts

MySpace has sued Scott Richter for committing offense under violations of state and federal laws including the CAN-SPAM Act and anti-spam statute of California.

MySpace has charged Scott Richter and his companies OptInRealBig.com and Mediabreakway.com with sending millions of fraudulent e-mails to its members. Richter had used technology that made messages pretend to come from members' accounts. The company believes Richter phished several of MySpace accounts to launch the spam.

The giant social networking site filed the lawsuit on January 19, 2007 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit has asked for compensation of damages, an injunction barring Richter and his companies to access MySpace, and reimbursement of all earnings as a consequence of the activity.

MySpace has always faced the challenge of managing rapid growth. The growth has also resulted in making it vulnerable to people who use the site to launch spam campaigns. While it is easy to identify unsolicited e-mails as junk, the spam mails on MySpace seem to come from trusted friends.

The lawsuit claims that Richter and his allies "arranged for millions of spam bulletins" to send them from MySpace accounts of members by illegally accessing those accounts. The affected members were unaware of the attacks all the while.

According to the lawsuit, Richter either swindled login pages to snatch usernames and passwords in a phishing scam or buy a list of names and passwords from an unauthorized third party.

The spam mails offered free ring tones, photo shirts or other items, alleges the lawsuit.

Hemanshu Nigam chief security officer of MySpace, noted in a statement published by ZDNet on January 22, 2007 that their service was entrusted to protect their members from phishing and spam. He added that if to stop someone from causing damage to its community, filing of a federal suit is required then they will do that.

MySpace is determined to adopt tougher steps to stop illegal use of its community network. It is also set to stop unauthorized transfer of copyrighted music and entertainment. And it is committed to protect its large population of teenage members from adult predators.

Related article: MySpace Wants Apple To Update QuickTime

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