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BadCow / mAiLIEN

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Country: Russian Federation
*** Leo Kuvayev now in prison ***

Founded by Russian/American criminal Leo Kuvayev. Now all in Russia. Spamming "OEM CD" pirated software scams, fake pharmaceuticals, porn spam, porn payment collection, etc. Spam using virus-created botnets and seems to be involved in virus distribution. Partnered with Vladislav Khokholkov - aka "Mr. Green".

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MEDIA: Massachusetts AG sues Kuvayev

Mass. attorney general sues spammers


BOSTON -- A state judge ordered the shutdown on Wednesday of what Attorney General Thomas Reilly alleged to be one of the world's largest spam rings, generating millions of unsolicited e-mails monthly for illegal products.

Reilly's civil complaint against Leo Kuvayev, alleged to be the ringleader, and six other people associated with two companies, 2K Services Ltd. and Ecash Pay Ltd., asked Suffolk County Superior Judge Ralph D. Gants for a restraining order to shut down the operation. Gants issued an emergency order late in the day.

Reilly alleged that the two companies flood e-mail boxes with advertisements for illegal and dangerous products, such as counterfeit prescription drugs and pirated software, as well as advertisements for pornography.

The attorney general made the announcement with Brad Smith, a senior vice president of Microsoft Corp., which aided the investigation by capturing thousands of the spam messages and tracing their origins.

"Anyone who has a computer and uses the Internet has had to deal with these spam e-mails. At the very least they are a nuisance, a tremendous inconvenience and very disruptive to our economy," Reilly said. "But in this case these e-mails went well beyond a nuisance. There are also very serious public safety implications."

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The lawsuit alleges that the spammers have broken state consumer protection laws, as well as federal anti-spam law known as CAN-SPAM. The lawsuit seeks restitution for anyone who lost money because of the spam operation, as well as fines, court costs and other relief.

No criminal charges have been filed against any of the seven people. Reilly said his immediate interest was to protect the public by seeking the restraining order, and that an investigation was ongoing.

Two phone numbers for Kuvayev and 2K Services in Canada were disconnected, and Kuvayev did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Another of the men, Vladislav Khokholkov, reached by phone in Russia, confirmed that he worked for 2K Services five years ago, but denied that he was involved in sending spam. He claimed that the company was defunct.

"That's very strange, because I don't know where they get their information," he said of the lawsuit. "As far as I know those companies don't even exist anymore. ... I for sure exist, but I don't send e-mails."

The lawsuit said that Khokholkov could be an alias for Kuvayev. Khokholkov denied that he was Kuvayev.

John Mozena, the co-founder and vice president of the anti-spam Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email, said that the lawsuit may be effective in stopping this spam group.

"Will it have an effect on the overall total of spam people receive? No," he said. "These sorts of things might stop individuals, but they don't stop spam."

Reilly was among attorneys general from several states who sued Microsoft for antitrust violations. Microsoft eventually settled with the states, and a federal court set aside Reilly's demand for harsher penalties last year.

Reilly said that he had no problem working with Microsoft on the spam case, saying, "We may have had our differences, but that's over."

Judge Gants set May 23 as the next hearing date in the case.

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