The FBI is chasing a 23-year-old Muscovite, suspected of being one of the world's most active spammers.
The agency claims that Oleg Nikolaenko, aka Docent, is the mastermind behind a network that has been jamming in-boxes with billions of junk e-mails a day, The Smoking Gun website reports.
Allegedly, the young man has infected more than 500,000 computers, using them to send ads that promoted fake Rolex watches and counterfeit medicines, including erectile dysfunction drugs.
FBI specialists believe that the spammer’s network (called Mega-D) was the biggest in the world, accounting for at least a third of the planet’s spam.
Nikolaenko was traced down with the help of two already arrested Internet fraudsters, Jody Smith and Lance Atkinson. The cyber criminals told FBI that in recent months they have been actively co-operating with Russian spammers.
Having searched Nikolaenko’s Gmail accounts, FBI found out that Atkinson paid the Russian spammer $459,000 for promoting his products.
This is not the first time that a Russian Internet fraudster has been dubbed the world’s biggest spammer.
As recently as October this year, the spam baron title went to another Russian citizen, Igor Gusev, also specializing in promotion of medicines. His three-year profits allegedly amounted to $120 million.
However, specialists doubt that Gusev is a big fish.
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