Spam Czar Nabbed in Spain May Have Link to Election Tampering

Spam Czar Nabbed in Spain May Have Link to Election Tampering

By John P. Mello Jr.

Apr 12, 2017 5:00 AM PT


An alleged spam kingpin with possible ties to election meddling in the United States was arrested in Spain last week under a U.S. international warrant.

The alleged spam czar, Pyotr Levashov, was taken into custody in Barcelona while vacationing with his family, according to news reports.

Levashov was arrested for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the Russian news outlet RT reported, but a U.S. Justice Department official told Reuters the arrest was a criminal matter without any national security connections.

On its list of the world’s top 10 worst spammers, Spamhaus, a spam-fighting group, ranks Levashov No. 7.

He allegedly partnered with convicted “pump and dump” stock scam specialist Alan Ralsky to carry out a wave of fake antivirus software scams. The two reportedly also ran the Waledac botnet that infected 70,000 to 90,000 PCs over several years and was capable of pushing out 1.5 billion spam messages a day.

“Levashov has been able to evade prosecution for at least 20 years,”
said Vitali Kremez, threat intelligence director at
Flashpoint.

“From an email spam perspective, his arrest means we’ll be seeing less incoming malicious email,” he told TechNewsWorld.

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