From: Feike Hacquebord (RD-US)
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:21:57 AM
Subject: [Newsbank] Spam King Leo Kuvayev Jailed for child molestation
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One of the biggest spammers ever, Leo Kuvayev, appears to be in jail in
A man known as one of the world’s top purveyors of junk e-mail has been imprisoned in
According to multiple sources, Leonid “Leo” Aleksandorovich Kuvayev, 38, is being held in a Russian prison awaiting trial on multiple child molestation charges.
Sources in the
Brandon A. Montgomery, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, confirmed that Kuvayev was indicted on Aug. 3, 2009, and arrested on Sept. 15 in
“Our attaché in
The Russian criminal case against Kuvayev, Case. No. 378243, charges him with violations of Russian Criminal Code 134, which prohibits “crimes against sexual inviolability and sexual freedom of the person.” According to sources in Russia familiar with the case but who asked not to be named, Kuvayev is being held in a Moscow jail awaiting trial, which is currently scheduled to start 10 months from the date of his incarceration on Dec. 22, 2009.
Kuvayev is widely considered one of the world’s most notorious spammers. Anti-spam group Spamhaus.org currently features Kuvayev as #2 on its Top 10 worst spammers list.
In 2005, the attorney general of
In an apparent bid to sidestep those charges, Kuvayev fled the
Spamhaus credits Kuvayev as being first mass-spammer to send junk e-mail messages as image files in order to evade text-based spam filters. In addition, Spamhaus says Kuvayev kept close relationships with individuals who maintained large botnets, or groupings of hacked PCs that are typically used to relay junk e-mail, and that he may be the person known online as “Pharmamaster,” the individual who claimed responsibility for massive online attacks in 2006 that drove anti-spam provider BlueSecurity out of business.
According to Spamhaus, if Kuvayev is not Pharmamaster, then that moniker belongs to his former business partner, a 37-year-old Russian named Vlad Khokholkov. Sources say Khokholkov is now operating the affiliate program Kuvayev used to run — called “Mailien” — which appears still to be running at full steam and soliciting new spammers, despite Kuvayev’s incarceration. Mailien offers affiliates 40-50 percent of each sale, and some of its “Pharmacy Express” brand partner spam sites currently incorporate familiar trademarks in their domain names, including ebaymeds.com, facebookmeds.com, yahoomeds.com and twittermeds.com, to name just a few. A person answering the ICQ number associated with Mailien’s support desk claimed not to know anyone by the name Khokholkov, but when asked about Kuvayev said that the information could not be provided because it was confidential.