|The SoftLayer - StopGeorgia.ru Network (Source - Inside Cyber Warfare, p.107)|
During the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008, Russian hackers created a forum called StopGeorgia.ru to conduct recruitment, training, and attack operations against a list of Georgian government websites. That forum and many other malicious sites before and afterwards were hosted by a U.S. company - SoftLayer Technologies. Today, IBM announced that it's buying SoftLayer for $2 billion; approximately eight times its earnings of 2010.
HostExploit.com has been publishing a list of the world's top 50 bad ISPs since 2009, and SoftLayer and The Planet, which became part of SoftLayer in 2010, has been included each year since then. In 2011, SoftLayer was rated #30 and The Planet was #14. In 2012, SoftLayer moved up to #17. The ratings indicate an estimate of the amount of exploit servers, phishing servers, C&C servers, badware, Zeus servers and infected websites found on each company's respective hardware.
When President Obama issued an Executive Order slapping Syria with sanctions in 2012, SoftLayer was one of the companies that violated sanctions through its hosting of Syrian government websites. SoftLayer and The Planet have always operated and profited in that grey area that so many U.S. ISPs enjoy; i.e., when called on the carpet for its customers' hosting and serving malware they that they aren't responsible for scanning and identifying what's on their leased servers. This is what makes U.S. IP space so popular among international cyber criminals: high uptime, competitive rates, and no one gives a shit what you do. And it's all perfectly legal, not to mention highly profitable.