Feeds

Russian spammer murder hoax exposed

Thick Skin yarn punctured

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A yarn that a prolific Russian spammer was whacked by Russian hit-men is increasingly looking like a hoax.

The supposed assassination of one "Alexey Tolstokozhev" in Moscow, was first reported on a website run by "Alex Loonov".

Loonov's account (at loonov.com/russian-viagra-and-penis-enlargement-spammer-murdered.htm) seemed all too plausible to the casual observer, especially since it played into public perceptions about the Russian mafia.

Alexey Tolstokozhev (btw, in Russian his name means 'Thick Skin'), a Russian spammer, found murdered in his luxury house near Moscow. He has been shot several times with one bullet stuck in his head. According to authorities, this last head shot is a clear mark of russian hit men (known as "killers" in Russia).

The story was picked up by blogs and spread rapidly across the net.

Unfortunately, the tale is a load of cobblers.

First up, the name Alexey Tolstokozhev doesn't appear on Spamhaus' ROKSO list, an odd omission for a supposedly prolific spammer. Perhaps he's managed to dodge ISP takedown orders, if not assassins bullets.

Or perhaps not.

Alexey Tolstokozhev fails to show up on any web searches either, except in the context of his supposed assassination. Informed parties, such as Sunbelt president and chief executive Alex Eckelberry, have never heard of him either.

Eckelberry did a little digging and discovered that Loonov's website, where reports of the hit first surfaced, was only registered on Tuesday and with EST Domains, an operation that has attracted complaints about hosting malware.

Loonov's website is free of malware (at least at the time of writing) but distinctly whiffy. Bloggers who first took the story at face value have begun to reverse their positions. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.