23-Year-Old Russian Hacker Responsible Was for One-Third of Global SpamS

Last month, Russia was the No. 1 source of spam in the world. It's probably because of Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old who was recently arrested for flooding the world with 10 billion spam emails a day.

Using a network of over 500,000 zombie computers known as the Mega-D botnet, Nikolaenko churned out 10 billion spam emails a day at the height of his operation. These advertised mostly counterfeit goods and herbal remedies—one Rolex counterfeiter who was his client said he spent $2 million on spam advertising. But starting in 2007, the FBI began closing in on Nikolaenko. He was arrested on Nov. 4th, while in Las Vegas for a car show, and now faces a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Who knew spam was such a lucrative field, though? The case exposes a complex network of scam artists, money launderers and hackers whose only aim is to ply with grammatically atrocious pitches about sexual aids. Sounds sort of like blogging, only easier.

[Image via Shutterstock]