back to article Nigerian spammer made 3X average national salary firehosing macro-laden Word docs at world+dog

A most entertaining piece of threat research from Check Point gives a unique insight into the "working" life of a Nigerian email spammer who made thousands of dollars from stolen credit cards alone in recent years. The scammer in question, whose true identity was known to Check Point, was by day "a leader, a content creator, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We never saw these problems when we were connecting to the internet via a high-speed 1200 baud modem.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

      Progress is never without its risks. But it does come with very good instruction manuals.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      We never saw these problems when we were connecting to the internet via a high-speed 1200 baud modem

      Oh blimey, but I did. Or at least, I did a few years later when it was a 33k6 modem. (in my 1200/75 days it was BBSes only).

      Some eejit had used my domain as a fake "from:" address in some spam, and for a week I was getting - quite literally - thousands of bounces a day, some genuine replies. Bear in mind that I was downloading this little lot with SMTP on an Acorn RiscPC at the time. Demon's basic webmail service was creaky too.

      It was the push which made me find and configure a POP3 client so that I could just delete the things on the server - still had to do some filtering to try to make sure genuine email didn't get deleted as well. Fortunately the spammer was using random names before the "@" - and it took a couple of weeks to get properly stable again.

      It happened again not long later, just after we installed ADSL. Demon's ADSL service didn't do SMTP delivery so by now I was permanently POP3 and the higher speeds meant I could cope a bit better.

      Nowadays I look at mail.log on my mail server and wonder how I can possibly diagnose my own connection problems when there are so many miscreants "knocking on the door" and clogging up the log file.

      There's nothing new.


      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        1200/75 days it was BBSes only.

        Fun times working at MH, I still think back on those days fondly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Been there, seen it, got the T-Shirt.

        I used to get spammed constantly on dead email addresses I hadn't used in years. I just gave up in the end and changed provider (start afresh so to speak). A bit of a pain to go through changing addresses on some accounts, but it was so much quieter.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Sorry mate had to down vote you...

      As someone who is familiar w 110 and 300 baud acoustic modems, I have to say the joke falls flat.

      Using your phone as a 3G hotspot while slow by modern standards... is much faster.

      So even in this backward part of the world... cell phones still work.

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Premium rate dialers were the problem back then.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Respectable and beloved by his colleagues - by day

    But a criminal by night, with an oversized ego which got in the way of his thinking clearly.

    It is rather obvious that, if you are partaking in criminal activity, you do not go to the police in order to avenge yourself of a (perceived) slight - at least, you don't put your own name in the fray.

    I'm sure he was generally smart, but he blew a fuse on that last move. Serves him right anyway, criminal scum that he is. He stole from hundreds, if not thousands, of people - people who likely could ill afford his activities. I hope he is made to repay every cent to the people he stole from.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: you do not go to the police...

      Although credit card fraud is a criminal offence a disagreement about the price of software would be a civil matter which you could resolve via the courts directly without involving the police. Here is a fine example from 1725.

  3. Chris G

    don't open unsolicited email attachments

    99.9% of the time I don't even open unsolicited emails. On the odd occasion I will get something that sounds as though it might be relevant but I check the message source first.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: don't open unsolicited email attachments

      You are fortunate that you don't have to receive such emails as a part of your job.

      There are a lot of us who can't afford to just ignore emails, much as we'd like to.

      Attachments, on the other hand - yeah, those can die in a fire.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Profit motive

    > The scammer made $100,000 over seven years, which compares very favourably with Nigeria's average annual salary of between $5,000 and $6,000.

    So roughly 2-3 times average salary - maybe 1.5 times when you factor in how much had to go back to his boss. In return there's the risk of jail and subsequent long-term unemployability. Not to mention blackmail by former associates etc. Hardly seems worth it.

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    So a devious criminal.....

    ...chose to be both devious and stupid with the people he relied on for his deviousness. Actually choosing to bite the hand that fed him. Who'd have thought that he could be so dishonest?

    Why's there no sarcasm icon?

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