Feeds

Russian spammer murder hoax exposed

Thick Skin yarn punctured

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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 smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.