More than a year ago, an internet spammer called Peter
Francis-Macrae (aka Weaselboy) was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment
for offering domain names which he does not own. He had used spams to
trick victims into paying him to register for new European
Internet addresses ending in “.eu”. This scam alone earned him £200,000
fortnight, out of a total of 425k GBP earned in all the scams.
(This Picture is taken from bbc.co.uk)
The victims complaint, and in turn received a flood of emails between 1,000 and 5 million numbers. The numbers of 5 million could be exaggerated, but it shows how bad the spam was. Then when the police tried to track him down, he threatened to cut the throat of the switchboard staff, and to crash UK internet system with his “army” of 200,000 zombie computers. Last but not least, he refused to reveal where he hid the money, and that adds one more charge to his sentence.
Peter was known to be a computer geek who started online businesses at a young age. His father is a computer programmer, which could explain the influence he might have received at a young age. Among his online ventures, he had a company which “appears” to operate from Jiangxi, China.
Knowledge is a double-edge sword. There is much to gain if it is used correctly and legally, and much to lose the other way round. Peter could have achieved much more (legally) in the 6-years he had lost.