Russian Wanted by US Alleged to Be Prolific Spam Master

By Raphael Satter and Howard Amos

MOSCOW (AP) — From the early days of online stock scams to the increasingly sophisticated world of botnets, pseudonymous hacker Peter Severa spent nearly two decades at the forefront of Russian cybercrime.

Now that a man alleged to be the pioneering spam lord, Pytor Levashov, is in Spanish custody awaiting extradition to the U.S., friends and foes alike are describing the 36-year-old as an ambitious operator who helped make the Internet underground what it is today.

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