Authorities say suspect behind 10 billion e-mails a day"
"Authorities say he was the king of spam, a 23-year-old Russian controlling a network of infected computers generating 10 billion unwanted e-mails a day - a third of the global spam stream - until a Milwaukee FBI agent unplugged the operation.
Now, Oleg Nikolaenko awaits a hearing in federal court in Milwaukee, where he is charged with helping cyber hucksters pitch everything from counterfeit Rolex watches to fake Viagra.
According to a federal criminal complaint, agents from the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission had been tracking Nikolaenko's activities since at least 2007. The complaint outlines how international fraud artists rely on tech-savvy spammers to annoy and defraud consumers in an enterprise that generates enormous illegal profits.
Agents tracked Nikolaenko during two visits to the United States last year, and when he returned to Las Vegas last month for a popular automotive show, he was arrested Nov. 4. He was indicted Nov. 16 on one count of violating the 2003 federal CAN-SPAM Act, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison. The charges were initially not made public."
"Last month, Russia was the No. 1 source of spam in the world. It's probably because of Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old who was recently arrested for flooding the world with 10 billion spam emails a day.
Using a network of over 500,000 zombie computers known as the Mega-D botnet, Nikolaenko churned out 10 billion spam emails a day at the height of his operation. These advertised mostly counterfeit goods and herbal remedies--one Rolodex counterfeiter who was his client said he spent $2 million on spam advertising. But starting in 2007, the FBI began closing in on Nikolaenko. He was arrested on Nov. 4th, while in Las Vegas for a car show, and now faces a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison."
23-Year-Old Russian Hacker Was Responsible for One-Third of Global Spam
At least now I know why my level of Viagra spam has been enlarged over the last month...