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Bot Net Used To Promote Pump-And-Dump Stock Scam

I’ve talked here about pump-and-dump stock scams as well as “bot nets” in the past, and this story combines these two subjects nicely and shows how computer hacking has evolved from an activity that was once practiced mostly by teenagers to impress their peers into a huge criminal enterprise where serious money is being made by serious crooks.

Two Texas men stand accused of using a computer bot net to pump out spam e-mail messages that were used to artificially inflate the price of certain stocks that they had purchased.

In a nutshell, a bot net is a collection of computers that have been infected with a program that allows someone else to control them from across the Internet without the computer owner’s knowledge. Many of these are typical home computers like those you probably have on your desk.

The collective power of thousands of computers under the control of one “bot master” is quite impressive and it is quite common for the computers in the bot net to be used for sending spam e-mail messages.

Like any typical pump-and-dump scam, the price of the stocks in question was driven higher with the help of the spam e-mail message and the guys behind the scam sold off their shares for a nice profit.

Since the scammers usually hold a massive amount of shares, the sell-off that results when they take their profits most often caused the prices of the stock to plummet, which leaves naive investors holding the bag.

Since it is illegal to send spam, you can be quite certain than any spam e-mail messages you receive that are promoting stocks are coming from people who are trying to sucker you into a pump-and-dump scam. You are better off just deleting them.

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