Disgraced iPhone spammer indicted on 4 counts of mail fraud

Tue, Nov 3, 2009


A shady, dishonest, and generally all-around douchebag iPhone developer who was kicked out of the iTunes App Store this past August for copyright infringement was just recently busted by the FBI for launching denial of service attacks against Yousendit.com, a website he helped found.

The dumbass in question is named Khalid Shaikh, and up until he was recently booted from iTunes, he worked with a team of 26 Pakistani-based developers to create an ungodly number of iPhone apps, many of which can easy be classified as crapware, and many of which also included copyrighted images and sounds.  For example, some of the gems created by Shaikh and his team included a $4.99 app that simply played airplane noises and a similarly priced app called iPig that simply played a number of pig sounds.

Before Apple revoked Shaikh’s developer license, he and his team released an astounding 943 apps on iTunes, which averages out to almost 5 a day for well over a year and a half.  Precise sales figures from those app sales aren’t available, but MobileCrunch discerned that Shaikh and his team were able to rake in a few thousand dollars in sales every single day.

Again, Apple eventually removed Shaikh’s apps and revoked his developers license because many of his apps referenced copyrighted images from cartoons such as Rugrats and used the names of NFL and NBA teams without permission.

In any event, Shaikh has moved on from violating Apple’s developer policies to violating federal laws.  A federal grand jury recently indicted Shaikh on four counts of mail fraud, stemming from denial of service attacks the FBI saysShaikh initiated against his former company, YouSendit.com.

The indictment states that between December 2008 and June 2009 Shaikh used the ApacheBench software program to launch four denial of service (DOS) attacks against YouSendIt’s servers. Each DOS attack temporarily rendered the servers incapable of handling legitimate network traffic and deprived YouSendIt’s customers use of the company’s services.

The FBI notes that Shaikh helped found YouSendIt way back in 2004, and during his stint there, first served as the company’s CEO and subsequently as its CTO until 2006.

The maximum penalty for each count levied against Shaikh is 5 years in prison along with a monetary fine totaling $250,000.

Shaikh, of course, proclaims his innocence.  Call us crazy, but we have a hard time taking a spammer at his word.



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