Spam drops by 20% after Russia takes down one man

By on October 28, 2010, 9:46 AM
There are now about 20 percent fewer spam e-mails hitting your inbox, thanks to efforts from the Russian government. Russian authorities this week cracked down on suspected spam kingpin Igor A. Gusev, according to The New York Times.

Moscow police said the 31-year-old, who by now has fled the country, was a central figure in the operations of SpamIt.com, a website that paid spammers to promote online pharmacies. SpamIt.com suddenly stopped operating on September 27 and Gusev's house was raided this week. His illegal spam network helped earn his partner company $120 million. With less financial incentive to send their junk mail, spammers reduced their activity by an estimated 50 billion messages a day.

Gusev and SpamIt.com had both been operating openly in Moscow for several years until Russia decided enough was enough. There are still 200 billion unwanted e-mails sent off every day, but cutting the world's spam by one fifth is a great start. Unfortunately, taking history into account, we wouldn't be surprised if that number went back up in a few weeks; the SpamIt.com website will simply be replaced.

In the meantime, Russia has opened a criminal case against Gusev for flooding the Internet with advertisements for Viagra, operating a pharmacy without a license, and operating a business without registration. This is unprecedented in Russia, since the country is known as a haven for spammers, but Western partners are pressuring the country to clamp down on abuse of the Internet.





User Comments: 59

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zinzan8 said:

I hate spam. But I don't know what the answer is.

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

lol 20% ? xD nice

this is the power of the internet

but what i really cant understand that how any body would trust and buy medicals / drugs from a online pharmacy by email with cheap products ?

Zecias said:

i lold at the title and picture.

this is where viruses originated, people create viruses that don't harm yur computer, just use yur email to spam other people and they make money that way.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If they just arrest four more guys we'll be free of spam.

frodough said:

zinzan8 said:

I hate spam. But I don't know what the answer is.

you are probably not from US, cuz ppl here love spams there are potential sumo wrestlers everywhere...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That's incredible that just one guy is responsible for 20% of ALL SPAM.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

There is now real way to stop the majority of spam if other countries do not do their part.

I am happy to see a country like Russia working on the spam problem.

Neojt said:

Well why dont they go after the companies that pay spammers instead

Spammers do it for the money if all the companies that promote spam get major fines then maybe they'll stop hiring spammers

"Moscow police said the 31-year-old, who by now has fled the country," If they didnt get him hes probably going to start over somewhere else too

pyari said:

yes I realize that my inbox is somekinda free of spam emails. thx to them but we all know 1 stop 10 more is burn and the situation is same.

customcarvin customcarvin said:

What a coincidence, I was just thinking to myself yesterday how the internets seem 20% snappier.. Now I know it's because we don't have all that spam bottle-necking ...... (^_-) lol

YAY!! Now I only have check the spam&delete box 16 times a day instead of 20! Good riddance, spam sucks! I cant understand how these companys would actually make money off of spamming, I mean has anyone here, or anyone you know ever clicked on one of these "save money on viagra" links, or something similar? Honestly? I wonder how much they pay guys like Mr. Gusev to do this dirty work, and i wonder how many real bites they get from suckers that buy this junk. I can't imagine they make much bank. People can't seriously be that stupid, can they?

shortie said:

Hmmm never rly had a problem with spam but good for the russians ! :P

fritz123 said:

wow i didnt know know russia loves spam so much. haha

i kinda good to know that i'll be getting 20% less viagra emails. lol. this wont last for long though. i dont think that only one person runs the whole operation. he's gotta have other workers right?

all out war on spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmm

treeski treeski said:

It's a shame he got away. I'm glad Russia is actually responding to pressure from the West.

cardriverx said:

I dont know what you just said, but I agree!

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

gwailo247 said:

If they just arrest four more guys we'll be free of spam.

Haha.

They really need to arrest the Nigerian scammers tho... ugh. I don't know anyone who doesn't know about them =x

Afroaggie said:

20% of 200000000 is.... Holy moley 40000000 spam emails a day that is more than I think I could send in a lifetime.

omega00 said:

It's about time. Stopping spammers benefits everyone, except for the spammers and their partners. I hope other countries realize that spam is not just a nuisance but also a serious security threat, spreading malware and computer viruses... and a financial drain on companies and individuals who have to spend money to combat it.

pyari said:

customcarvin said:

I cant understand how these companys would actually make money off of spamming, I mean has anyone here, or anyone you know ever clicked on one of these "save money on viagra" links, or something similar? Honestly?

there is million of millions innocent user out there I suppose those are the victims. In my learning phase(14 yrs earlier) I don't know nothing but know I have to click on where hands pointer appear. now I know little bit but still I'm learning phase. The time is change and they know how to fool the user. user is smart but spammer is smarter then user.

Scshadow said:

We may never see the end of spam. But here is to one small victory.

thedrelle said:

one man gets taken down, 5 take his place.

I just dont get why some people feel the need to flood one's inbox with trite and shallow nonesense.

DryIce said:

Yes! Russia 1, spammers, um, still 200 billion.

whiteandnerdy said:

20% less spam means less spam samiches, darn!

i don't get much spam but but i can see why it would be a pain. but why people click on those things, ill never understand.

Xero07 said:

Thank goodness, spam angers me. Really any spam center that operates openly should be stopped.

sMILEY4ever said:

DryIce said:

Yes! Russia 1, spammers, um, still 200 billion.

I lold.

Anyways, Russia is a haven for cybercrime.

ElShotte ElShotte said:

they didn't stop anything, just got it off their hands. The dude was worth $120 million, he probably paid them off (this is Russia we're talking about), was escorted out of their country. Some Russian authorities are now probably car/house shopping, since he's not there anymore they won't get pressured by the Western countries, and he's well on the way of developing a new spam site to replicate SpamIt.com

Bottom line is that this is nothing but a waste of time...

Demons said:

50 billion messages a day! Wow... I'm glad they took down this guy. Maybe my google filter wont have to work as hard now. I always do like reading the spam recipes on gmail though...

buttus said:

Holy smokes. One man was responsible for 20% of the spam. Just wait until they catch the other 4.

Mushroom said:

I don't even really notice spam anymore, google does a pretty good job of catching 99.9% of it for me.

TheDumbass said:

why did he do this did he got some money for each mail or what

mikeusru said:

In communist russia, spam blocks you.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

customcarvin said: I cant understand how these companys would actually make money off of spamming, I mean has anyone here, or anyone you know ever clicked on one of these "save money on viagra" links, or something similar? Honestly? I wonder how much they pay guys like Mr. Gusev to do this dirty work, and i wonder how many real bites they get from suckers that buy this junk. I can't imagine they make much bank. People can't seriously be that stupid, can they?

it's very likely you can go through life and not meet 1 person who's purchased anything via spam advert.

The problem with spam profitability is that you're dealing with ridiculously large numbers. If you send out 200 billion emails, then all you need is a 0.000005% purchase rate to still make 1 million sales.

Afenix said:

Damn.. 50 billion. That's A LOT. I somehow don't get any spam at all, only normal letters and newsletters and stuff like that. The war against spammers still continues.

alexandrionel said:

If 20% comes from one guy in Rusia, how much more spam really comes from Rusia? At least 60% maybe?

Eddo22 said:

All I can say is.. Awesome!

jazboy said:

Even i hate spam but i know its not going to die..

vangrat said:

gwailo247 said:

If they just arrest four more guys we'll be free of spam.

How much would you wager that all four would be from either Russia or China XD

lipe123 said:

Honestly spam is probably one of the worst problems with the internet today, you'd think that this kind of arrest would be more common!

The company I work for has a small mail server for a few 100 clients and we get literally millions of spam emails filtered out daily!

Hackers should step up and start breaking botnets as a claim to fame rather than hack the fbi or whatever.

tonylukac said:

As George Jetson said, "My button pushing finger is gettting tired..." of deleting that spam.

Timonius Timonius said:

83.21% of stats are pulled out of a hat. How do we know this is 20% of spam?

Guest said:

I think the answer is to charge 1/10th of a cent or something small like that for an email to be sent. For the normal user, sending emails all year like normal would only cost at MOST $1 (unless you're a chain letter sender, in which case you need to pay, anyway), but for those servers that send billions of spam emails, it would start to cost big time. And if a server receives an email, but doesn't receive the "postage" with it, the email should just be dropped.

Guest said:

The same way they trust Obama to fix health care!

DjKraid DjKraid said:

Very well done! -I don't get it why anyone wants to make "spam" mail and what's the point in it..?

Guest said:

shame the bluefrog got pulled down, apparently it did have an effect...

anguis said:

Charging for email? You know how utterly ridiculous that sounds? Not to mention impossible.

Also, the guy will either retire on some island somewhere, as he made millions already, or just continue in another country (or a different part of Russia). He conveniently "got away."

ryan29121 said:

One dude provided 20% of spam messages??!! Kudos on Russia for bringing him down. Not like it hurt me at all. Thank you gmail spam filter.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It's good they're trying to do something about it but making it more of a crime or somehow charging the spammers seems like it would do something to help the problem. Ultimately they need to fix the email system to keep it from being so easy to fake addresses and send massive amounts of emails.

poertner_1274 poertner_1274, secroF laicepS topShceT, said:

I see this as progress on one front, but unfortunately someone else will just step up and fill that void. Spam will never go away. It's just like telemarketers, they prey on the old and weak minded.

Guest said:

How about spam and eggs?

thaddio said:

Seriously? i guy stopped and 20%?...that's uber!

maestromasada said:

oh no! will miss him, will miss my daily hour of cleaning crap mails... or maybe not!

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