Spammer faces up to two years in jail

Man charged with sending millions of spam messages over high-profile company networks in violation of the Can-Spam Act.

A Detroit-area man is facing at least two years in jail on charges that he sent millions of spam messages over a number of high-profile company networks in violation of the Can-Spam Act.

Daniel Lin, of West Bloomfield, along with three other men from West Bloomfield, was charged in April 2004 with sending spam over compromised computers belonging to the likes of Ford, Unisys and the U.S. Army Information Center. They were the first people to face charges under the U.S. Can-Spam Act.

A report in the Detroit News said the e-mails offered diet aids, herbs and drugs to fight male impotence. U.S. authorities claim the gang made approximately $100,000 for their efforts.

Lin is expected to plead guilty to charges including fraud in connection with electronic mail, as part of a deal with U.S. prosecutors to reduce his sentence. Before the deal, Lin faced a maximum of 10 years in jail for two count of spamming plus 10 years for an unrelated gun charge.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, commented: "Spammers don't balk at exploiting the computers of innocent people and companies to relay their unwanted spam onto other computer users.

"Weight-loss products are just one of many goods plugged by spammers but many computer users faced by the growing tide of spam will probably like to see spammers go on a diet of bread-and-water."

Dan Ilett of Silicon.com reported from London.
CNET News.com's Alorie Gilbert contributed to this report.