By John Leyden
1st December 2010
FBI investigators have named a 23-year-old Russian as a prime suspect
behind the operation of the infamous 500,000 Mega-D botnet, blamed for
an estimated one in three spam emails prior to a take-down operation
early last year.
Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old Moscow resident, was accused of violating
US anti-spam and fraud laws in a sworn testimony by an FBI agent
investigation the case, the Smoking Gun reports.
Webmail records from two Gmail accounts and financial transactions (via
the ePassporte service) link Nikolaenko to the operation of the botnet,
according to court paper submitted in a grand jury investigation.
The Mega-D zombie network was infamous as a prolific source of
counterfeit prescription, herbal remedy and fake Rolex spam. A January
2009 takedown operation mounted by security firm FireEye hit Mega-D very
hard, drastically affecting spam output, which has returned but never to
the same noxious levels.
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