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23-Year-Old Russian Hacker Was Responsible for One-Third of Global Spam

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Newscom

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.

Who knew spam was such a lucrative field, though? The case exposes a complex network of scam artists, money launderers and hackers whose only aim is to ply with grammatically atrocious pitches about sexual aids. Sounds sort of like blogging, only easier.

[Image via Shutterstock]



The original version of the story appears here: http://gawker.com/5705461/23+year+old-russian-hacker-responsible-was-for-one+third-of-global-spam


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About The Author

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David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.