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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: Microsoft and Mass. gang up on spam ring

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Microsoft and Mass. gang up on spam ring


A Massachusetts state judge yesterday ordered the shutdown of what authorities called one of the world's largest spam e-mail rings, culminating an investigation that had Microsoft Corp. working on the same side as one of its fiercest antitrust rivals.

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly was granted an injunction after filing suit against alleged ringleader Leo Kuvayev and six other people associated with 2K Services Ltd. and Ecash Pay Ltd. Authorities said the ring was responsible for sending millions of unsolicited and deceptive e-mails.

Reilly was the last holdout among state attorneys general challenging Microsoft's U.S. antitrust settlement, which was ultimately upheld on appeal. But on the issue of spam, his interests and those of Microsoft were closely aligned.

The company has filed a series of anti-spam suits on its own, and its investigators started tracking the Boston-area ring last summer, identifying about 45,000 spam e-mails from the operation in a one-month period.

About the same time, Reilly's office also was focusing on the group, and they decided to pool their investigative resources.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, called the case "an important milestone" in the company's relationship with Reilly's office.

At the end of a news conference in Massachusetts yesterday, as the two men shook hands, Reilly remarked that the people in attendance surely never thought they would see such a moment.

Smith said the ring was extraordinarily sophisticated and global in scope, with more than 30 affiliates sending e-mail on its behalf and fulfillment houses around the world contracted to supply products. Through the spam e-mails, they were selling high volumes of products including counterfeit software, watches, pharmaceuticals, online pornography and other items.

"If there's a vice on the Internet, they offered a vehicle to tap into it," Smith said. "We have never seen a group as diversified as this."

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

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

"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."

John Mozena, the co-founder and vice president of the anti-spam Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email, said the suit 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."
P-I reporter Todd Bishop and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Link to full article at the the Seatle PI

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