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Spam King Pinched; Out-Narc'ed By Hackers

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-01

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UPDATE; Our source, Valleywag, has retracted the rumor about the Spam King's arrest: "Several reporters and spam fighters have checked on the Alan Ralsky story and told me it's false. The FBI's Detroit field office told one journalist that the Spam King was not arrested or held, is not in custody, and has not been indicted."

The Department of Justice detained the so-called "Spam King," Alan Ralsky, and is pressuring him for information that could bring down a huge network of spammers. News of Ralsky's arrest was quick to reach hacker networks and send them running for cover.

The details were leaked (poured) by tech-industry gossip site Valleywag on Friday. The news stayed quiet over the weekend, presumably because major news reporters are still trying to gather information and access Ralsky's 72-hour sealed file.

From Valleywag's scoop:

Valleywag: Tell me the scoop in three sentences.

Memehacker: Alan Ralsky is currently being held by the feds and his file is sealed for the next 72hrs by the DOJ. We are concerned that he is going to narq out the entire network since they have enough on him to send him to jail. This means hackers, spammers, anyone who has worked in spam legally or illegally for the last 5 years at least.
The DOJ wants to do a dragnet, they have the top dog, but they want the whole system as well.

Wag: How many people could be in trouble?

MH: There is a risk of a huge network collapse in the hack scene. I couldn't estimate since I don't know who he has worked with, but it's a lot of people. Think of a huge pyramid with him at the top. He is one of the few people that has knowledge of a large part of the hackscene network.

Word getting out to Ralsky's partners in spam, and giving them time to get out of Dodge, was apparently not something the DOJ was happy about. An update from Valleywag suggests that the DOJ was shaking down informants:

Escher Auernheim: i just got a phonecall

MemeHacker: ??

Escher: the DOJ is pissed
and like

Meme: sh*t

Escher: sent goons to spamhaus people

Meme: reporters are calling them

Escher: to SCREAM at the top of their lungs
for like an hour
cause we
broke their whole f***ing plan

Meme: what did they expect tho?

Escher: and spammers are shutting their sh*t down
and ralsky has already plead down
and they cant get arrests from the info

Ralsky is a big enough fish in the spam world that information given to the DOJ could keep him out of bigger trouble, but it is still unknown what (if anything) he told investigators and how far reaching that information could be.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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