Russian Viagra Spammer Faces Charges But U.S. Worst Offender
Did pigs fly? Because Russia has filed criminal charges against a spammer, something unprecedented in that country, the origination point of so many unwanted e-mails.
Moscow police on Tuesday raided the home of Igor Gusev who is alleged to own a botnet with a partner that brought the pair $120 million in revenue over about three years. Gusuv reportedly specializes in sending Viagra and Cialis e-mails and in selling those popular drugs, too.
Gusev himself was not nabbed -- his lawyer said he is currently out of the country. What a well timed trip!
The Russian newspaper, the Kommersant daily, said the charges were a first of its kind in Russia. Apparently, the country is trying to respond to complaints from Western countries to clamp down on spammers. Interestingly, the charges are not related to cyber-abuse but for operating the drug sale Web site, Glavmed.com, without a license. Gusev's lawyer told the newspaper that his client was innocent.
Gusev is known as a driving force behind the botnet known as SpamIt.com, which mysteriously stopped operating on September 27 (perhaps when Gusev fled the country?), to the relief of e-mail inboxes worldwide. When pulled offline, worldwide spam dropped by 40 percent says M86 Security Labs -- others report that spam dropped by 50 billion messages a day.
Source: M86 Security Labs
Depending on the source, Russia is named as the second, or third most spam origination country -- so getting Russian officials to give up the look-the-other-way attitude and stop the notorious Viagra Spam King is significant.
On other hand, the spam-iest nation of them all is the U.S., according to multiple sources like the Spamhaus Project. Maybe Eastern countries should put pressure on Western ones to crack down on the U.S. a little.
Here's a snapshot of the worst spam offenders by nation taken on October 28 from the Spamhaus Project
|United States||Number of Current Live Spam Issues: 2293|
|China||Number of Current Live Spam Issues: 752|
|Russian Federation||Number of Current Live Spam Issues: 486|
|United Kingdom||Number of Current Live Spam Issues: 293|
|5||Argentina||Number of Current Live Spam Issues: 280|