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October 18, 2008 15:53 - One Third Of Spam Stopped In Its Tracks!

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigators have shut down an international criminal network purported to send out up to a third of all spam emails.

The group, called the HerbalKing gang, was controlled by Lance Atkinson in Australia and Texas-based Jody Smith, with participants in Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Russia, Canada and the U.S. It operated through 35,000 hacked computers - known as a botnet - and could send 10 billion e-mail messages a day. They promoted non-regulated drugs and fake medical remedies, such as for penis enlargement and weight loss.

Spamhaus.org, who were involved in the investigation, said of Atkinson and Smith, "They are probably the most prolific spammers at the moment. This is probably the first time that an action by law enforcement will affect the level of spam in people's inboxes."

HerbalKing has been operating since at least 2005 and was ranked as the highest spam generating gang last year.

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