Russia Investigates Alleged Spam Kingpin

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Russia's police may have cut down the amount of spam in your inbox by opening an investigation of an alleged spam kingpin.

Russian officials began the investigation of Igor A. Gusev Tuesday, The New York Times reported. Officials said Gusev likely fled the country.

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According to authorities, Gusev was a key player in the operations of SpamIt.Com, which paid spammers to promote online pharmacies. SpamIt ceased operating in late September.

With fewer financial incentives, spammers have cut their activity by an estimated 50 billion messages a day.

"We've seen a sustained drop in global volumes," Henry Stern, a senior security analyst at Cisco Systems told The New York Times. Cisco highlighted the closure of Mr. Gusev's site as the cause for this reduction.

Russian authorities accuse Gusev of operating a pharmacy without a license and failing to register his business. Computer-related charges may follow once police search the contents of computers found in Gusev's apartment.

Gusev's lawyer, Vadim A. Kolosov, told The New York Times that Gusev did not own and never sent spam e-mail.
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