Michael Dolan, a phisher who targeted AOL over the course of fiveyears recently pleaded guilty to two criminal counts that the U.S.attorney's office brought against him. The first count was a conspiracyto commit fraud and the second count was aggravated identity theft.
Dolan's "career" spanned from 2002 to 2006 and mostly involvedgetting victims to install a Trojan program that would prevent themfrom logging into their AOL account without providing additionalsensitive information like credit card and Social Security numbers.When caught, he had private and financial information for 96individuals.
On the one hand, I think this is a great victory for the Departmentof Justice. I believe that legal actions are one of the importantchannels we need to consider when addressing the problem of phishing.After all, phishing is ultimately a financial crime, and to the extentthat we can make it more risky and less profitable, we cansubstantially reduce instances of phishing.