So-called spam king Sanford Wallace has been charged with hacking the accounts of half a million Facebook users to send 27 million spam emails.
According to the indictment, Wallace carried out three attacks on the social networking site between November 2008 and March 2009. He faces a potential 40-year jail sentence and a $2 million fine for multiple counts of fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer and criminal contempt.
The 43-year-old allegedly managed to evade Facebook’s spam filters to post messages on his victims’ friends’ walls. Clicking on a link within the message led to a website that harvested names and account details.
“Facebook’s computer entwork sustained damage from the large amount of computer network resources used during the defendant’s transmission of spam messages through its system, which resulted in Facebook spending a significant amount of time, money and resources responding to and fixing the damage caused to its network as well as to protect and defend its network from future spam campaigns by the defendant,” the indictment reads.
Wallace has been in the spamming business a long time, allegedly sending out more than 30 million spam messages during the 1990s. Facebook first sued him in 2009, and he was ordered to stay away from Facebook – but did so within a month. While he was ordered to pay Facebook $711 million in damages, he filed for bankruptcy soon after.
Wallace was yesterday released on a $100,000 bond – and ordered to stayy off Facebook and MySpace. He’ll appear in court in San Jose on August 22.