1.37 Billion Addresses Leaked and Exposed Illegal Spam Operation
An illegal operation was exposed due to a database leakage of 1.37bn email addresses. This is believed to be one of the largest spam operations that got exposed due to a faulty backup. A notorious spam operator by the name River City Media (RCM) was found guilty of sending around 1.37 billion spam emails. The database also contained additional details, including names, real-world addresses, and IP addresses, which was a serious threat to online privacy and security.
The issue was under observation by security researchers at MacKeeper, who found that the email marketing firm was sending billion messages per day across the world. According to MacKeeper’s Chris Vickery, “The situation presents a tangible threat to online privacy and security as it involves a database of 1.4bn email accounts combined with real names, user IP addresses, and often physical address.” Though the company hasn’t verified the leak completely, but the addresses are accurate in the database. More authenticity to the leak was added by the snapshot of the backup made earlier this January, which was accidentally published on the Internet.
According to MacKeeper, there must have been multiple techniques that were used for bulk advertisements over a billion times. Co-registration is one the techniques, where you accidentally press a ‘Submit’ or ‘I agree’ button, which might be next to the smaller unreadable text. This exposes you to various affiliates on the websites that misuses your personal details like email address, IP address, name, etc.
Due to such illegal activities, anti-spam organizations have blacklisted the firm’s entire infrastructure. Initially, the claim by Vickery sounded superficial, as it claimed to have the access to 1.4bn records. Only the federal ID system in the country has the database with more than a billion individuals’ record.
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