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Alleged Russian spammer arrested in Spain amid U.S. crackdown

Pyotr Levashov, an alleged spammer based in Russia, appeared in a Madrid court Wednesday facing extradition to the United States, the Associated Press reports. He is alleged to have operated a large botnet, using hacked computers to send unwanted commercial emails.

He’s one of at least five Russians arrested on U.S.-linked cybercrime charges while traveling in Europe in the past nine months, according to the report. The U.S. charges against them–involving offenses like money laundering and disseminating hacking tools–don’t appear linked to alleged Russian election interference or necessarily to state-sponsored attacks, though Levashov has allegedly collaborated in the past with Russian intelligence.

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