Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alleged Host of Internet Spam Groups is Cut Off

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

The gleaming, state-of-the-art, 30-story office tower in downtown San Jose, Calif., hardly looks like the staging ground for a full-scale cyber crime offensive against America. But security experts say a relatively small Web hosting firm at that location is home to servers that help manage the distribution of the majority of the world's junk e-mail.

According to these experts, the servers are operated by McColo Corp., a Web hosting company that has emerged as a major U.S. staging ground for international firms and syndicates that are involved in everything from the remote management of millions of compromised computers to the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and designer goods, fake security products and child pornography.

But the company ceased to be reachable yesterday online, when two Internet providers turned off MoColo's connectivity to the Internet.

Officials from McColo did not respond to multiple e-mails, phone calls and instant messages left at the contact points listed on the company's Web site. It's not clear what, if anything, U.S. law enforcement is doing about the alleged activity happening at McColo. An FBI spokesman declined to offer a comment for this story. The U.S. Secret Service could not be immediately reached for comment.

Also unclear is the extent to which McColo could be held legally responsible for the activities of the clients for whom it provides hosting services.

More here.


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