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Junk mail kingpin held on child abuse charges

Trial to start in December

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Notorious spammer Leo Kuvayev is being held on remand in his native Russia over child sex charges.

Kuvayev, 38, who occupies the second spot on Spamhaus' ROKSO list of the world's worst spammers, is accused of molesting 50 children from Moscow orphanages. The suspect has been held on remand since last December but news of his detention only broke this week via a reports by ex-Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs. Kuvayev was indicted last August and arrested in September following a police investigation prompted by complaints by one of the girls he allegedly abused.

He faces a trial scheduled to start in December.

Brandon A Montgomery, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division at the US Department of Homeland Security, told KrebsOnSecurity: “Our attaché in Moscow is working with the criminal investigative team in Russia, and the investigation is ongoing.”

Kuvayev, who specialises in pharmacy and pirated software spam and holds dual Russian and American citizenship, was successfully sued for violations of the CAN-SPAM Act back in 2005. Faced with paying fines of $37m, Kuvayev fled the US.

Spamhaus cites Kuvayev as a pioneer in the use of image-based spam as a means of sidestepping spam filters and the use of botnet networks of compromised PCs to distribute junk mail. ®

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