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US accuses three people of stealing over a billion email addresses

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The US Department of Justice just announced three indictments for what one attorney called "the largest data breach of names and email addresses in the history of the Internet." Vietnamese citizens Viet Quoc Nguyen and Giang Hoang Vu stand accused of a scheme to hack email service providers, while Canadian David-Manuel Santos Da Silva allegedly conspired with them to launder the proceeds generated. According to the indictments, between 2009 and 2012 Nguyen and Vu hacked at least eight email service providers -- the companies that collect your data under slightly more legitimate circumstances -- to steal marketing data containing over a billion email addresses. After that, they worked with Da Silva to profit from the addresses by sending spam with affiliate links for a company he controlled, Marketbay.com.

At least according to the DoJ, all of that work netted around $2 million in affiliate marketing fees. While Nguyen is still a fugitive, Vu was arrested in the Netherlands in 2012 and pleaded guilty on February 5th. Da Silva was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, FL on February 12th and is scheduled to be arraigned today

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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