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Spam The Internet IT

The Russian Mafia Doesn't Like Spam Either 451

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the think-twice-before-sending dept.
wattrlz writes "Apparently the current champion of v1*gr4 spamming solicited some of the wrong email boxes. Alexy Tolstokozhev was recently found murdered in his palatial spam-bought estate near Moscow. The implications of this hands on method of system administration are staggering." Update: 10/12 15:28 GMT by Z : Good story. Unfortunately, probably a fake.
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The Russian Mafia Doesn't Like Spam Either

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  • That explains it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:52PM (#20947103) Homepage Journal

    I noticed a drop in spam over the past week and figured another big arrest had been made, which would be in the news. Well .. an arrest of sorts.

    While I don't advocate the killing of spammers, it's hard to argue with results. What I do wonder is if this is a hit from a rival spammer. Where do we see evidence spam was sent to the wrong person? Begin notorious in Russia is a bit unhealthy, particularly when you have large amounts of money and no bodyguards.

    From another source: [securitypronews.com]

    It won't be surprising to hear of an Organizatsiya connection, should the authorities probe the murder deeply.

    To do that they'd probably need a supply of pills conventiently and discretely distributed.

    BTW, here's the original source of the news [loonov.com]

    Russian Viagra and Penis Enlargement Spammer Murdered

    Posted on October 11th, 2007 by admin and filed under Uncategorized.

    Wow, just saw this on TV, so I decided to translate this story into English so my readers will be first to learn this. Sorry for mistakes in my English, I'm doing this in a hurry :)

    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).

    Who hated Tolstokozhev so much as to hire a hit man to assasinate him? Well, I guess you have about one billion e-mail users to suspect. Tolstokozhev was a famous spammer who sent millions of e-mail promoting viagra, cialis, penis enlargement pills and other medications. Links in these e-mails usually led to some pharmacy shop, which paid Tolstokozhev a share of its revenue. This is a well known affiliate scheme employed by spammers worldwide.

    Tolstokozhev is estimated to be responsible for up to 30% percent of all viagra and penis enlargement related spam.

    In order to send millions and millions of unsolicited letters, Tolstokozhev employed a network of infected computers (so-called "botnet"), which he rented from hackers.

    How profitable is spam? Well, the authorities say that Tolstokozhev has likely made more than $2 million in 2007 alone. (in comparison: average russian monthly salary is $400)

    This is a second murder of a spammer in Russia. Another russian spammer, Vardan Kushnir, was assassinated in 2005.

    "Violent murders is a clear sign that spam becomes a serious criminal activity" - the officials say. "Easy money attracts criminals, which bring their own version of "justice" with them."
    • Not the first time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by billstewart (78916) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:56PM (#20947143) Journal
      The article mentions a 2005 murder in Russia, but there were also a couple of spammers in New Jersey who got murdered a few years ago, and the general rumor was that they'd annoyed some New York City Russian mafiosi in a stock scam.
      • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:07PM (#20947271)
        I think its possible that the mafia is expanding into spam business - or that they were demanding a cut of the action and where rebuked.
        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:37PM (#20947663) Journal

          I think its possible that the mafia is expanding into spam business - or that they were demanding a cut of the action and where rebuked.


          That would be my take as well. This just rings of organized crime "moving in". You saw the same thing in the olden days when the rum runners were "consolidated" by guys like Al Calpone.

          The message here is clear to all Russian online scammers; give us a cut or they'll be picking pieces of you off the floor.
          • by abb3w (696381) on Friday October 12, 2007 @02:08AM (#20950089) Journal

            This just rings of organized crime "moving in". You saw the same thing in the olden days when the rum runners were "consolidated" by guys like Al Calpone.

            Probably just in eastern Europe. The American Mafia may be involved in prostitution, illegal waste disposal, drug running, bookmaking, extortion, and (of course) money laundering, but they are still a Family business with some standards.

          • by arth1 (260657) on Friday October 12, 2007 @03:08AM (#20950303) Homepage Journal
            From what I've read about this in non-English news sources, his spam operation was part of russian mafia operations, and he was likely killed for unauthorized "side business".

            As for his "luxury palace", I'm not sure a one bedroom (two-room) apartment in a run-down district of Moscow qualifies. Granted, rent is probably as high in Moscow as in other capitals, but...
      • by Ash Vince (602485) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:24PM (#20947507) Journal
        The last russian spammer who was killed specialised in Russian language spam advertising his own "American Language Center". The idea was that they taught you American (ie - English) and then you used that to get your own job (yup, no placement or visa included).

        Apparently this guy sent out tons of spam inside Russia and managed to annoy too many people with the sheer volume, making a small fortune in the process.

        Then he was found beaten to death. According to the Wired article I remember reading some time ago (link posted below) the people who killed him really took their time to make sure he suffered. No bullets are mentioned, although a lot of blood and a very sound kicking is. Then the police just swept the whole thing under the carpet.

        I really would recommend that anyone who gets pissed off when they receive spam read the link the below. It cured me as I actually felt sorry for him by then end:

        http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/spamking.html [wired.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vlad30 (44644)
          I really would recommend that anyone who gets pissed off when they receive spam read the link the below. It cured me as I actually felt sorry for him by then end:

          Scientology, Spam, ripped of employees
          No I don't feel sorry for him
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          That's awesome. I wish we did that more around here.
        • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @08:33PM (#20948117)

          I really would recommend that anyone who gets pissed off when they receive spam read the link the below. It cured me as I actually felt sorry for him by then end:
          How long did the sympathy take to wear off?
        • by quantaman (517394) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @09:46PM (#20948695)

          Then he was found beaten to death. According to the Wired article I remember reading some time ago (link posted below) the people who killed him really took their time to make sure he suffered. No bullets are mentioned, although a lot of blood and a very sound kicking is. Then the police just swept the whole thing under the carpet.

          I really would recommend that anyone who gets pissed off when they receive spam read the link the below. It cured me as I actually felt sorry for him by then end:

          http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/spamking.html [wired.com]
          Actually I lost sympathy for him as I read the article. I mean he showed absolutely no remorse about the damage he caused and actually seemed to enjoy the fact that his spam was causing so many problems. Also despite the fact he was making loads of money from his operation he withheld pay from his employees.

          Who knows how biased the wired article is but from their profile he seemed to be an astonishingly self-centred person who didn't care about anyone else at all. I don't believe in the death penalty and thus don't endorse murder by a long shot, but there's many a murderer I've felt more sympathy for than this individual.
        • by guacamole (24270) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @10:50PM (#20949121)
          That murder had nothing to do with the victims spam activities:

          http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7845&IBLOCK_ID=35 [exile.ru]
      • by Lost Race (681080) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @10:14PM (#20948869)
        My impression is that spammers occasionally get killed for the same reason they occasionally go to jail: not because they spam but because they're low-life criminals involved in lots of shady underworld activities.
    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:05PM (#20947259) Homepage Journal

      Well .. an arrest of sorts.
      My money's on cardiac. *Rimshot!*
      • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:13PM (#20947357) Homepage Journal

        Well .. an arrest of sorts.
        My money's on cardiac. *Rimshot!*

        For spammers this may become known as Death by Natural Causes.

        "That's odd I feel strangely different, there's a dead body in here and blood everywhere."
        "YOU HAVE MAIL."
        "Who are you? Do I know you, have we met?"
        "I USUALLY MEET EVERYONE ONLY ONCE."
        "Uh. Ooooohh...."

    • Re:That explains it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by modecx (130548) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:08PM (#20947293)
      Personally, I doubt that he got assassinated because someone hated him. He probably got whacked because he refused to pay the mob for his cut for illicit activities on their turf--and being an asshole was simply icing on the cake.
    • by markov_chain (202465) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:11PM (#20947325) Homepage
      Where do we see evidence spam was sent to the wrong person?

      Dude, it's pretty clear-- imagine telling Tony Soprano his dick is small! You would be lucky to get off with a quick shooting.
    • FAKE NEWS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2007 @08:09PM (#20947933)

      Looks faked. [avertlabs.com]

      How sad.

  • by thewiz (24994) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:53PM (#20947109)
    to "Spam Assassin"!
  • real reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbc1920 (730236) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:53PM (#20947115)
    More like the Russian Mafia doesn't like sharing profits.
    • Re:real reason (Score:5, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:12PM (#20947337)
      More like the Russian Mafia doesn't like sharing profits.

      The Russian Mafia, like all such organisations, love sharing profits. In fact they love it so much, they'll come round from time to time to your place of business, for a friendly discussion about sharing profits and why it's a great thing to do.

      I suspect the late spammer was not the sort of person who liked sharing profits, alas.

  • Oops (Score:5, Funny)

    by bcguitar33 (1001772) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:53PM (#20947117)
    Looks like there are more ways than just v1agr@ for you to end up a stiff.
  • by BuddyJesus (835123) <forceoftheschmo@gmai l . c om> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:54PM (#20947125) Homepage Journal
    I know that nobody likes spammers, but why does that make this murder justified?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)
      If he can waste the time of millions of people with spam, thereby using up little bits of their lives, it is understandable that few will mourn his passing. Good riddance.
      • by BuddyJesus (835123) <forceoftheschmo@gmai l . c om> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:09PM (#20947299) Homepage Journal
        Just because he committed despicable acts doesn't justify others doing despicable acts as well. He should have been punished through the legal system, not through a criminal organization.
        • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:21PM (#20947475) Journal
          Just because he committed despicable acts doesn't justify others doing despicable acts as well. He should have been punished through the legal system, not through a criminal organization

          I agree, but "should" doesn't have the force of law everywhere.

          They used to hang horse thieves, I hear -- interruption of someone's only means of communication. And that was for just one horse. Property is defended by force, whether or not that force is legal, because people will react emotively, not always rationally, to things that affect them directly.

          So -- is an attack on your bandwidth, your personal inbox, annoying? Say that it is, for a few million people. What percentage of those people are not merely annoyed, but enraged? And of those, who with the will and the means will carry out a vengeful act?

          The point is if you annoy enough people, you can expect common justice, rough or smooth.

    • by p0tat03 (985078)
      No, perhaps not. But this is about equivalent to someone assassinating a tyrannical king (someone who damages your quality of life, but with no civil/legal recourse to get him to stop). I might not have done it myself, but that won't stop me from cheering. As a general rule I don't grieve for the deaths of evil, petty, greedy men, or any combination of the above. If you have no concern for your fellow man, I will have no concern for you either, so I think this, in the end, is rather fitting.
      • by aliquis (678370)
        But if it's just another tyran who wants to do the same thing how does it improve your life? Also I never notice the viagraspams anyway..
    • by Shihar (153932) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:05PM (#20947251)
      It doesn't justify the murder, but hell, people die every day. Thousands of people will die in the time it takes to read this post. Of those thousands of people that are moments away from dying, I would say it is a safe bet that at least a few of them are truly wonderful and good people and that the world will be a worse place for their leaving it... and chances are you won't give two shits about a single one of them.

      Now, some ass hole spammer is dead. Is it sad? Eh, it is sad in the way that anyone dying is sad, and well, people dying is not that sad. We manage to make it through each day cheerfully despite the massive amounts of death going on the world. So one guy who has made a name for himself by being a complete asshole is dead. It is hard to drum up any sort of negative feelings when plenty of completely good humans dropped dead within hours of his doing so and most people didn't shed a tear for them either.
    • by tacocat (527354)

      I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone who will openly claim that this is a justified killing.

      However, considering the ruthless, invasive, and often times offensive and disturbing methods makes it unlikely that you will hear much public outrage. The products being pushed are base in nature and completely indiscriminant in the tact.

      "advertisement" means to speak towards another person. This is not to be interpreted repeatedly sending 100's of emails a day to the same address on the same subject.

    • by Cyberax (705495)
      Probably, BOFH got fed up with spam :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jemenake (595948)

      I know that nobody likes spammers, but why does that make this murder justified?

      Well, let's not even look at the monetary cost that it imposes on servers handling the spam mails. Let's just look at the amount of actual *life* consumed. Let's say that it takes you 2 seconds to flag a spam as such and drop it in your spam box. That's 2 man-seconds. The numbers I see thrown around are that these spammers can send out upwards of 100 million spams per day. 2 man-seconds multiplied by 100 million per day com

    • by eclectro (227083)

      I know that nobody likes spammers, but why does that make this murder justified?
      Because it happenned in Russia, and not the US, that makes it ok??
    • by pluther (647209) <pluther@usaGAUSS.net minus math_god> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:34PM (#20947613) Homepage
      Mark Twain wrote that "There are three kinds of homicide: Felonious, justifiable, and praiseworthy."
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iceborer (684929)
        I think you meant Ambrose Bierce wrote "HOMICIDE, n. The slaying of one human being by another. There are four kinds of homocide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy, but it makes no great difference to the person slain whether he fell by one kind or another --the classification is for advantage of the lawyers." From The Devil's Dictionary (via Google Books).
  • ...against many people. balanced with one huge crime against one person. sort of makes sense?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rebelgecko (893016)
      He reportedly made about $2,000,000 from spamming. Let's assume he was responsible for 100,000,000 emails (which would give him an average profit of 5 cents per e-mail, so this number is probably too low). If it takes 10 seconds to open an e-mail, see that it's spam, and then delete it then that's 1,000,000,000 seconds, which is equal to about 32 years. The average life expectancy of a male (who is probably MUCH more likely than a female to be taking viagra or similar pills) in Russia is 60 years. If all t
  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Solder Fumes (797270) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:56PM (#20947145)
    I know someone is going to get on their high horse and say that spam is annoying but not a cause for murder.

    Maybe I should feel the same way.

    However, I'm only slightly surprised to find that my conscience doesn't have any problem at all allowing me to feel happy at the news of this man's death.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arkhan_jg (618674)
      I'd never advocate killing a spammer. But I too, am finding it hard to be sad he's dead. as a sysadmin, I spend anything up to a days-worth of my time a week dealing with the fallout from spam. The users that complain about legitimate email that's flagged as possibly spam, even though it IS really spam from someone they know. The users that complain about spam that isn't caught by the filters, a much larger group. The overseas user from hong kong who I've just spent a month working with, working with 3 diff
  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:57PM (#20947161)
    The implication is that if you piss off the wrong people, you could end up dead. Quite how that's surprising (let alone staggering) I don't know.
  • Big mistake (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:57PM (#20947169)
    Mafia does not kill for spam - they kill for not sharing the profits of the venture. The guy probably thought that just because his business is virtual it is immune from racket, big mistake but I won't shred a single tear for this bastard. Maybe a hitfund should be setup - $1 mln per head of top 20 spammers in the world.
    • by protolith (619345)
      I can see it now:

      D0 y0u H8te Spam? Send $1 to this account and it will go to a fund to Assassinate A spammer, and forward this to 5 friends..

      And I could just see the "ki11 a spamm3r" e-mails mixed in with the penis boosting hot local singles with stock tips e-mails.
  • Cause for a Bullet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:04PM (#20947245)
    Unfortunately the bullet in the head probably wasn't earned because he was a scum-sucking Internet bottom feeder but because he was a scum-sucking Internet bottom feeder who didn't pay up.
  • by clintp (5169) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:06PM (#20947261)
    Your post advocates a

    ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

    approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
    ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
    ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    ( ) Users of email will not put up with it
    ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
    (X) The police will not put up with it, anywhere other than Russia
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
    ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    ( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
    ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    (X) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
    ( ) Open relays in foreign countries
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
    ( ) Asshats
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems
    ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
    ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
    ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
    ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
    ( ) Extreme profitability of spam
    ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
    ( ) Technically illiterate politicians
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
    ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    ( ) Outlook

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    ( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
    been shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
    ( ) Blacklists suck
    ( ) Whitelists suck
    ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    ( ) Sending email should be free
    ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
    ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
    ( ) I don't want the government reading my email
    (X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    ( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, asshole! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
    house down!
    (X) THANK YOU! ONE DOWN. MANY MORE TO GO.

  • Big Prize? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jetpack (22743) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:07PM (#20947277) Homepage
    Does Tolstokozhev's killer get the SysAdmin Of The Year [sysadminoftheyear.com] award?
  • Fake Story? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XenoPhage (242134) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:09PM (#20947301) Homepage
    For what it's worth, this story appears to be fake. The story appears to have originated from this site : http://loonov.com/ [loonov.com]

    If you check the whois info on this site, it was created on October 11, 2007, today. Yet the site shows archives going back to February 2007? Archives which are "disabled' because of high traffic..

    Next, if you search for both the name of the spammer, Alexey Tolstokozhev, or the site, loonov.com, you only get links pointing back to loonov.com as the originator of the story.

    So it appears that this story is a fraud.
  • Not that I'm suggesting that the Russian Mafia 'handle' the rest of the ROSKO [spamhaus.org] list, but....

    OK -- well, at least they shouldn't say that I put them up to it.

  • by Megane (129182)

    Apparently the current champion of v1*gr4 spamming solicited some of the wrong email boxes. Alexy Tolstokozhev was recently found murdered in his palatial spam-bought estate near Moscow. The implications of this hands on method of system administration are staggering.

    Simon [theregister.co.uk] would be proud.

  • he didn't cut them in.
  • Direct correlation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:21PM (#20947479) Journal
    While I have no qualms with a spammer/scammer getting offed in a most satisfactory way, I would hesitate to celebrate it as a victory for "anti-spam". If he was murdered by the Russian mafia, it wasn't because Don Boris got one too many Viagara advertisements. It's because, as a rich business owner, he didn't pay protection money. Or because he short-changed a pill supplier, who is probably a mafia person too-- and mispaying the mafia directly or indirectly isn't good. Or he moved in on someone else's territory. Or because he had boatloads of cash hanging around and didn't buy an ADT alarm system.

    Basically, he wasn't murdered because of spam. He was murdered because he was a anuscluster who crossed the wrong people.

    Though, I do think it would be wonderful if Don Boris' 18 year old nephew, who is also the "company's" sys-admin, came to him one day and said "Hey, you know what I want for my graduation present? {type type typitty type whois reverselookup tap-type-print} That snogmuffin off the Internet."

  • by wolfeon (1133133) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:32PM (#20947593) Homepage
    Original story is on

    http://loonov.com/russian-viagra-and-penis-enlargement-spammer-murdered.htm# [loonov.com]

          Domain Name: LOONOV.COM
          Registrar: ESTDOMAINS, INC.
          Whois Server: whois.estdomains.com
          Referral URL: http://www.estdomains.com/ [estdomains.com]
          Name Server: NS0.HQHOST.NET
          Name Server: NS1.HQHOST.NET
          Status: clientTransferProhibited
          Updated Date: 11-oct-2007
          Creation Date: 11-oct-2007
          Expiration Date: 11-oct-2008

    Fake hoax information link
    http://taint.org/2007/10/11/203243a.html [taint.org]

    Domain loonov.com registered Oct 11th... FAKE!!!!
  • by OverflowingBitBucket (464177) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @08:32PM (#20948101) Homepage Journal
    Well, we changed the scores on a few spamassassin rules on our mailserver yesterday. I guess the changes were far more effective than we had anticipated.
  • by mrjb (547783) on Friday October 12, 2007 @03:35AM (#20950407)
    Because in Soviet Russia, ...
  • by gr8dude (832945) on Friday October 12, 2007 @04:24AM (#20950571) Homepage
    I find it funny that all of us are so into this story and no one has bothered to verify it. The guy claims he heard the news on TV and decided to translate it for us. The thing is that if you speak Russian, and check out the TV channels, or the Russian news agencies - none of them mentions such a case. For instance, http://lenta.ru/internet/ [lenta.ru] is silent about it.

    I must say this was a job well done by this bogus artist, he managed to spawn a classic slashdot dispute with many insightful posts, bravo! Well, maybe this will make spammers feel a bit uncomfortable...

    Morale of the story: 10 thousand lemmings can be wrong.
  • looking like a hoax (Score:3, Informative)

    by daniel.waterfield (960460) on Friday October 12, 2007 @07:28AM (#20951291) Homepage Journal
    register is reporting this as a hoax. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/12/russian_spammer_murder/ [theregister.co.uk] tsk tsk tsk
  • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:17AM (#20954371) Homepage
    The Register is saying this looking more and more like a hoax. [theregister.co.uk]

    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.

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