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Saturday
Dec042010

Russian 'King of Spam' Pleads Not Guilty

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- A 23-year-old Milwaukee man who has been called the "King of Spam" by investigators was arraigned Friday and is being held without bail on federal charges.

Oleg Nikolaenko was arrested in Las Vegas last month, accused of violating the CAN-SPAM Act, which sets the rules for commercial email, when he allegedly masterminded a worldwide spam network that blasted out billions of e-mails.

He pleaded not guilty on Friday. According to prosecutors, Nikolaenko would place malicious code on unsuspecting users' computers and remotely hijack the machines to send out one-third of the unwanted messages around the world.

According to Steve Jones, an Internet expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the technology Nikolaenko allegedly employed could easily spam just about every Internet user around the world in a day.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica O'Neil had asked that Nikolaenko be detained because he has no ties to the United States and would be at risk to return to Russia, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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