June 5, 2006 7:18 AM PDT

Spammer settles suit for $1 million

A major spammer who was accused of sending up to 25 million e-mails per day has settled a lawsuit with Microsoft and the state of Texas.

The settlement has cost Ryan Pitylak $1 million, as well as the seizure of many of the assets he accumulated during a short-lived career as one of the world's worst spammers.

At the peak of his spamming activity, the 24-year-old Texas resident was listed as the world's fourth most-prolific spammer by antispam group Spamhaus.

Now Pitylak is claiming something of an epiphany, saying he has seen the error of his ways and will dedicate his efforts to trying to rid the world of nuisance e-mail. He has even taken to referring to himself as an "antispam activist" in an apparent change of heart of epic proportions.

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On Saturday, Pitylak wrote in his blog: "Over time I have come to see how I was wrong to think of spam as just a game of cat and mouse with corporate e-mail administrators. I now understand why so much effort is put into stopping it. The settlements with Microsoft and the Attorney General's Office have been a serious reality check: harsh but good, and in the public's best interest."

He added: "I am pleased to announce that I am now a part of the anti-spam community, having started an Internet security company that offers my clients advice on systems to protect against spam. I'm now working earnestly to help other entrepreneurs avoid the traps that deceived me and led me to make questionable business choices."

Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
spammer, anti-spam, Texas, Microsoft Corp., e-mail

7 comments

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Good on ya . . .
As the first person ever to be sued in the UK (and possibly the world) for spamming, I can see where he is coming from, it's far to easy to get into if you are fairly new to the internet with plenty of sites telling you why it's not wrong and how to do it. If it turns out you are particularly good at it you can easily get into all sorts of trouble, it also of course gives you an edge when advising on preventing spam just like AV companies you ex virus writters.
Posted by 2clicks (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
$$$$$$$$$$
That is all this guy sees. Here's the plan:

1. send so much SPAM that I become infamous
2. settle for a portion of the money made
3. use new found fame to profit legally from the corporate fat cats for the rest of my life.

I do not fault the guy but rather say more power to him for milking the system for all it's worth.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
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$1m fine?
Not enough, perhaps a golf club to the knees or throat would have been a nice addition to the sentence. Pitty his address wasn't listed in the article ;)
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
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Hallmark Family Original Movie
Oooh, sounds like a happy ending worthy of a Hallmark Family Original Movie.
Posted by backgroundnoise (32 comments )
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who knowa
how sincere is he. definately sincire because he lost a lot of money.
Posted by komradkyle (12 comments )
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A reformed do-gooder
Well, gee, I wonder why. If I had to make a million dollar settlement (which is way too low), I would also be trying to see the error of my ways.
Posted by jim717102 (1 comment )
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spamHam
This guy has gotta be kidding us. Yes?
Posted by mad4048 (1 comment )
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