An American spammer has reached a deal with prosecutors that could see him serving two years in jail for sending junk email from hijacked computers.
Detroit resident Daniel Lin was charged, along with three other men, of sending millions of emails in April 2005 from hacked computers belonging to the Ford Motor Company, Amoco, Unisys, the US Army Information Centre, and the Administrative Office of US Courts.
The spam emails sold bogus diet aids, herbal 'remedies' and illegally imported erectile dysfunction drugs.
Lin was facing a sentence of 10 years for spamming and up to 10 years on an unrelated firearms charge. However, he has plea bargained his sentence to between two years and 57 months in prison.
"Spammers clog the internet with unwanted messages, making life harder for everyone with an email address and peddling bogus goods to the unwary," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"They also don't baulk at exploiting the computers of innocent people and companies to relay their unwanted spam to other computer users.
"Weight-loss products are just one of many goods plugged by spammers, but many computer users would probably like to see spammers put on a diet of bread and water."
According to court reports the four men earned over $100,000 from their activities, getting at least 100 orders a week for five months for products such as a bogus weight loss patch.
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