Pat Peterson of IronPort (and all around good guy) has spent the last year doing some interesting stuff with spammers.
In mid-June Peterson ran out of leads and, feeling frustrated, made a buy on MyCanadianPharmacy. Now, Americans are forbidden to import prescription drugs, but there’s an exception: a three-month supply is permitted. To buy the pills, he created a one-time-use MasterCard (nyse: MA – news – people ) number tied to his wife’s account and spent $85 for ten pills of something called Viagra Professional. Within seconds he got a confirmation e-mail from E-Commerce Processing Systems, a discount code for future buys and a request to rate his customer experience. “I’d never seen cybercrime like this. It acts like a huge business,” says Peterson.
A London address appeared at the bottom of one message. Peterson had an IronPort employee there visit the building. It housed several offices, but a receptionist had never heard of the Web company. The address for the world headquarters of MyCanadianPharmacy is an empty parking lot in Toronto.
Peterson’s credit card was charged to an account in Russia. He called MasterCard for more details, but, without a subpoena, the card company could reveal only the merchant’s account name, #Pharmacyclient1.com, and asked him if he had a complaint. He said he didn’t, but a few weeks later his card was mysteriously reimbursed for the full charge.
Not surprisingly, mentioned in the article is one of Our Favorite ISPs, InterCage.
More here (free reg required).