09 Dec 2010

Russian hacker produced one-third of world's spam

A recent survey showed that Russia is the top spam-producing nation in the world. That is in no small part due to the efforts of Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old Russian man who was recently arrested for producing the Mega-D botnet.

Nikolaenko is scheduled to be arraigned in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to court documents, the Mega-D botnet produced 32 percent of the world’s spam. "Security researchers estimated that the botnet was capable of sending 10 billion spam email messages a day,” said the documents.

Nikolaenko’s botnet ring sent advertisements for counterfeit prescriptions, herbal remedies and fake watches. Authorities caught a break in the case when a seller of counterfeit Rolexes told authorities that he’d been paid more than $2 million to work with spammers, CNN.com reports. His information led authorities on a trail across several continents that ended with Nikolaenko’s arrest.

According to recent survey, spam output around the world has dropped in the past month. Two of the world’s top spam producers, the Bredolab and Koobface botnets, have recently been severely crippled by authorities, which is believed to be a factor in the drop.