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Shocker! CRTC Takes Action Against Real Spammer

By Ken Magill
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission apparently took time off its busy schedule of fining companies for faulty opt-out mechanisms and took action against a real spammer.
After spending the summer announcing trivial actions under Canada’s anti-spam law, the CRTC announced last week it served its first-ever warrant under CASL to take down a command-and-control server located in Toronto, Ontario as part of a coordinated international effort.
“Law enforcement agencies from around the globe have disrupted one of the most widely distributed malware families: Win32/Dorkbot,” the CRTC said in a statement. “This malware family has infected more than one million personal computers in over 190 countries.”
“As part of this investigation, the CRTC is working in close collaboration with its partners, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol, Interpol, Microsoft Inc., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre,” the CRTC continued.
The CRTC said it does not comment on active investigations, nor does it name the individuals or companies under investigation.
As a result, we have no details beyond the CRTC’s claim a warrant was served.
If it was part of an effort that truly disrupted a sender of malware, the CRTC should be applauded.
Moreover, bureaucracies typically use press releases to send messages beyond what is actually said in the release.
"These are very egregious botnets that are used for illicit activities and can lead to identity theft and fraud,” said Manon Bombardier, the CRTC chief compliance and enforcement officer, in a statement. “This operation shows that partnerships between domestic and international law enforcement agencies are key in the fight against transnational cyber threats.”
Is the CRTC sending a message that it intends to coordinate internationally and focus on actual email threats rather than simply bringing trivial enforcement actions under CASL? One can only hope.

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