Security Expert Claims Adconion Is 'Company A' In Email Case

An email service provider in the middle of an ongoing investigation into its email practices.

Krebs on Security identifies Adconion as the company at the center of this probe.

An indictment charges that four defendants “engaged in a conspiracy to identify or pay to identify blocks of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that were registered to others but which were otherwise inactive,” Krebs writes.

In addition, the defendants sent “forged letters to an Internet hosting firm claiming they had been authorized by the registrants of the inactive IP addresses to use that space for their own purposes,” Krebs continues.

However, the company is not listed in the indictment, and has not been charged.  

Krebs cites a memo filed jointly by four defendants, stating that “this case spun off from a larger ongoing investigation into the commercial email practices of Company A.” Krebs adds that the indictment issued last year is “just the opening salvo in a much larger, ongoing federal investigation into the company’s commercial email practice.”

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A footnote in that document identifies Adconion as the company, Krebs says. That firm was acquired by Amobee -- a mobile ad provider -- in 2014 for $235 million, according to published reports.  

A request for comment or confirmation by Amobee had not been answered at deadline.

Four individuals have been indicted on conspiracy, wire fraud and electronic mail fraud: Jacob Bychak, Mark Manoogian, Mohammed Abdul Qayyum and Petr Pacas. The defendants deny all allegations against them, according to the memo cited by Krebs.

However, Krebs asserts that all four were employees of Adconion and identifies them as Mark Manoogian, an attorney whose LinkedIn profile states that he is director of legal and business affairs at Amobee, and formerly was senior business development manager at Adconion Direct; Jacob Bychak, listed as director of operations at Adconion Direct (Qayyum’s LinkedIn page says he is manager of technical operations at Adconion); and Petr Pacas, formerly director of operations at Company A (Adconion). Krebs cites a statement of facts filed by the government.

In addition, two other defendants were indicted separately: Daniel Dye and Vincent Tarney.

The defendants’ memo, which demands that the government produce documents in discovery and disclose the criminal record of an informant, frequently cites this document: ADCONION - DISC02 - REPORTS - 00 1001.

The indictment states that “the defendants concealed their use of the IP addresses to send ‘spam’ emails by using business names, post office boxes, and email address under different names.” The alleged activities took place from 2010 to 2014.

 

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