Spammers consider UK a soft touch

Link: Spam takes over inboxes

Steve Linford, founder of Spamhau told VNU News Centre that the e-privacy directive, enforced in December 2003, had simply made the problem worse.

He predicted spam will rise to around 80%of all emails by this December.

The law was meant to deter spammers but Linford claimed that it is full of loopholes and its sanctions are derisory – effectively giving UK spammers the green light to both ramp up their activities here and form partnerships with overseas spammers.

While the Italians can impose fines of to €90,000 and prison sentences of up to three years under the e-privacy law, spammers in the UK interpretation face fines of just £5,000 in a magistrate’s court (or an unlimited penalty from a jury) and no risk of jail.

‘We have seen Italian spammers moving to the UK to set up their business in order to escape the Italian anti spam laws,’ Linford said.

Linford also claimed spammers are building links with serious organised crime and virus writers.

?We will soon see the next wave of spam. These Russian gangs are pretty serious. While most of them work for US spammers, they are doing what the US spammers didn’t do; using viruses and Trojans.?

Spammers are also believed to be turning their attention to the new 3G mobile networks.

Richard Wong, general manager of messaging vendor Openwave, told VNU News Centre that he expected to see the first wave of spam MMS messages sent to UK and European mobile phone owners by the end of the year.

‘Technically MMS is email – it uses email protocols. Some operators have web-based MMS and the spammers and scammers have learned to find open access to MMS networks so it doesn’t cost them anything,’ he said.

‘I expect the first phase of fraud will be focused on roaming [being asked to give credit card details to an overseas mobile operator when abroad] or on top ups for pay-as-you-go 3G mobiles,’ he said.

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