In 2002, I worked in Anti-Spam Operations and could easily identify particular spammers by commonalities in the attack such as message headers, message content, website template, whois records, domain naming conventions, etc.
At the time one of the most prolific spammers was Alan Ralsky and his preferred spam runs included debt management, pills and eventually penny stock pump and dump scams. His usual tactic was to register thousands of domains for a spam run and cycle through each of the domains in his spam message. Many of these domains were registered to a fake address in China to a person named “Zhang Jun”. I’ve seen it so many times I can remember it almost 6 years later!
It was quite a blast from the past to return from the New Year to hear that the law has finally caught up with Alan Ralsky. Reuters have reported that a 41-count indictment charges 11 people with operating a spam operation focused on running a stock “pump and dump” scheme. This is even more serious than spam as it amounts to fraud since they manipulated a stock price through spam campaigns and made large amounts of money in doing so.