spy ware

Sanford Wallace

Sanford "Spamford" Wallace is a spammer who came to notoriety in 1997, promoting himself as the original Spam King.


In the late 1990s, his company, Cyber Promotions, aka Cyberpromo, was widely blacklisted as a source of unsolicited email. Wallace's high-profile pro-spam stance and unrepentant persistence earned him the derisive nickname 'Spamford'. (Wallace later registered the Internet address out of spite.)

Prior to his email spam ventures, Wallace had gained notoriety in other questionable marketing circles, as a heavy utilizer of junk fax marketing, a practice outlawed in the U.S. since 1991.

In 1995, Wallace formed Cyber Promotions, entering the spam market. Thanks to a self-marketing campaign, Cyberpromo rapidly became the most successful seller of email marketing -- as well as the number one source of unsolicited email.

Wallace's company brought a number of spam-blocking evasion tactics to the fore of the spam battle. False return addresses, relaying, and multihoming were among the questionable practices used by Cyberpromo to ensure the penetration of their advertising.

Retirement and reemergence

In April 1998, Wallace publicly announced that he was quitting the spam business. Cyberpromo was converted to an opt-in email marketing company and renamed GTMI. The new company was plagued by major financial problems, as well as the spectre of its former self, with large numbers of people unconvinced of Wallace's change of heart. Wallace pulled out of the new venture quickly. GTMI's unshaken legacy eventually led to its rapid demise.

After Wallace's internet connection was disconnected for spamming in 1999, he filed a lawsuit against anti-spam activist Mark Welch, but abandoned the suit a month later.

Wallace did not leave the Internet marketing business entirely, it appears. In 2001 he was linked to a website,, which utilized multiple-window launching to snag Web viewers, an advertising practice rarely seen outside of the online pornography industry. Wallace was also involved in another opt-in project, SmartBotPRO.NET, which is now apparently also defunct.

On 2004-10-08, the FTC filed suit against Wallace and his company, SmartBOT, for infecting computers with spyware then offering a solution to remove the problem for $30. On 2005-01-04, it was announced that Wallace had agreed to stop distributing the software until the charges with the FTC are settled.

On 2006-03-22, the FTC filed a suit again against Wallace and SmartBOT for practices similar to the 2004 suit. This time Wallace and his co-defendants were ordered to pay $5,089,550.48 in fines.

On 2007-03-27, Forbes magazine reported that MySpace had filed suit against Wallace for Phishing and spamming. The LA Times reported on the same day that Wallace used automated software not allowed by MySpace to create 11,000 fake profiles, in order to direct MySpace users to websites with questionable content. In July 2007, US District Judge Audrey B. Collins issued an order prohibiting Wallace from creating or maintaining MySpace profiles, and from using MySpace to post public comments, or send private messages. In April 2008, the California Central District Court issued a default judgment against Wallace in MySpace's lawsuit, after Wallace failed to turn over documents or appear in court.

As of March 2007, he is currently a DJ in Las Vegas, making weekly appearances at OPM nightclub (name changed to 'Poetry Nightclub' October 5, 2007) in Caesars Palace Forum Shops on the Las Vegas Strip under the name DJ Master Web.

On 2008-01-26 the UK Register reported that the Federal Trade Commission has asked the Judge overseeing the 2006 settlement to find Wallace and partner Walter Rines in civil contempt of court for their use of malware and social engineering on MySpace to promote porn and gambling sites. In May 2008 Wallace and Rines were found guilty and ordered to pay $230 million to MySpace by the L.A. District Court when they failed to appear for trial.


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