Is your E-mail Protected?Written by Anthony Ellis
Recent history demonstrates that when e-mails wind up in third-party hands, results range from mild embarrassment to theft of proprietary information and multi-billion dollar lawsuits (think Merrill Lynch). But prying eyes won’t be smiling for long, thanks to many new Web-based systems that let subscribers track and control their e-mail – preventing unauthorized viewing, copying, forwarding and printing
These systems employ timestamps, PGP and digital signatures to provide encrypted certificates that prove when email was sent and opened. In addition, some have ability to allow users to edit or revoke recipient access to mail at anytime – crucial protection for those sending private or confidential information.
“Individuals, entrepreneurs and large companies risk privacy invasion, espionage, theft, and viral infection whenever they send e-mail,” said E-mailSecure.com founder Anthony Ellis. E-mailSecure.com is one of latest in a string of high tech email protection and tracking services. “While billions have been spent to make Internet better and faster, e-mail has been largely ignored. E-mail tracking and monitoring services are a reliable way to monitor, control and confirm who reads your e-mail, and what they do with it – all of which can be documented with a mile-long paper trail” says Ellis.
Hall of Shame - The Bad Boys of UCEWritten by CipherTrust
The majority of Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE), or “spam” is sent by a relatively small group of dedicated professional spammers. The Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) indicates that 80% of all spam comes from just 200 known spam operations. This data is in line with research completed by CipherTrust research scientists, which indicates that most spam originates from a relatively small group of tightly integrated spam networks.
While we’re all very familiar with spam messages we receive each day, it is interesting to take a look at who these spammers are – to put a “face” to problem, as it were. Following are four of most notorious and prolific spammers in world.
Mr. Ralsky is currently one of most egregious spam senders in world. His organization, based in Michigan since 1997, uses Chinese, European and domestic US-based servers to host and send spam to millions of email boxes daily. But that’s not enough for Ralsky. Not only does he operate as a spammer, but also as a host to other spammers.
| Alan Ralsky |
In 2002, Verizon sued Mr. Ralsky for causing Verizon’s network to freeze twice in 2000. The lawsuit originally sought $37 million, but was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Ralsky is no longer allowed to send email over Verizon’s networks, but he admits no wrongdoing in case, and has vowed to continue sending bulk email.
Mr. Ralsky was convicted in 1994 for falsifying documents to defraud two banks in Michigan and Ohio and was fined $74,000. In an unrelated case in 1992, Ralsky was sentenced to 50 days in jail and ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution for failing to deliver a contract involving unregistered securities.
While Mr. Ralsky sends millions of unsolicited email messages selling everything from diet pills to online gambling, he claims that his business is legitimate and that his emails are not spam. He also insists that he does not sell pornography. We’re sure he’s an absolutely charming fellow.
Scott Richter’s Denver-based company, OptinRealBig, is responsible for sending out billions of spam emails. He is one of most outspoken and notorious spammers in business today. Whereas most spammers attempt to keep a low profile, often denying any involvement in spam, Richter seems to enjoy spotlight. In fact, Richter even attempted to start up a “Spam King” clothing line before Hormel (the company responsible for bringing delicious canned Spam to dining rooms around world) put an end to his trademark-infringing idea.
| Scott Richter |
Richter and his partners were named in a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General and Microsoft. That suit, filed in 2003, sought millions of dollars in punitive damages, but was settled out of court in mid-2004 with a paltry fine of $50,000. Richter regards his legal entanglements as excellent advertising for his company which, he claims, gains value each time he is sued.