The FBI believes that one third of the world’s spam messages are being generated by one 23 year old Russian man.
Oleg Nikolaenko of Moscow, also know by his online nickname “Docent”, is thought to be the man behind the “Mega-D” bot network of 500,000 infected computers. The botnet sends out millions of spam messages on behalf of scam artists selling fake prescriptions and Rolex watches.
According to The Smoking Gun, Nikolaenko is the first person to be named in conjunction with the operation and creation of “Mega-D”.
FBI investigators have managed to collect financial records from Nikolaenko showing that he had earned nearly $500,000 over a period of six months from fellow spammer Lance Atkinson.
Atkinson, along with another spammer Jody Smith, were last year sentenced to prison terms for computer related offenses. Atkinson also later admitted to using Nikolaenko.
Nikolaenko’s botnet was taken out last year by FireEye, a network security company, which was able to identify the affected computers being hijacked by “Mega D”.