SpamIt and Glavmed pharmacy spam campaigns generate $50m a year

According to security researcher Brian Krebs, who claims to have dissected the SpamIT and Glavmed spam campaigns, if you received an unsolicited email in the past few years promoting male enhancement or erectile dysfunction pills, the chances are that it was generated by one of the two spam campaigns.

Krebs says that an anonymous contact of his - Despduck - claimed he could deliver data on hundreds of thousands of consumers who purchased pills through Glavmed's stable of sites.

In addition, Krebs reports that Despduck claimed to be able to supply "detailed financial records of Glavmed/SpamIt affiliates who earned thousands of dollars of month promoting pharmacy sites using spam and hacked websites."

And he did, sending the security researcher a nine gigabyte data file that contained three year’s worth of records for the campaigns.

Reporting on his analysis of the file in his latest security blog, Krebs says that the database reads like a rogue’s gallery of the Underweb.

"In it are the nicknames, ICQ numbers, email addresses and bank account information on some of the Internet's most notorious hackers and spammers. This huge cache of information shows that over the course of three years, more than 2500 affiliates earned hefty commissions promoting Glavmed's pharmacy sites", he said.

In total, the three year campaign to June of last year generated at least $150 million from more than 800,000 customers.

Krebs reports that Glavmed isn't all business, as it prompts affiliates to donate a portion of their commissions to help orphans and other disadvantaged children.

"Whether the money actually goes to those charities is an open question" he notes.


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