Apple’s iCloud helped U.S. feds track down Russian spam kingpin

“An affidavit unsealed today shows Apple’s unexpected role in bringing a Russian spam king to justice,” Russell Brandom reports for The Verge. “Once listed as one of the ten worst spammers in the world, Peter Levashov allegedly ran the Kelihos botnet under the alias ‘Severa,’ renting out access to spammers and other cybercriminals. But despite Levashov’s significant efforts at anonymity, court records show that federal agents had been surveilling his iCloud account since May 20th, 2016, funneling back crucial information that may have led to his arrest.”

“Two Kelihos-linked servers seized in Luxembourg showed frequent logins to Levashov’s account, apparently the result of Levashov using the servers as a proxy,” Brandom reports. “Investigators also found an iCloud account registered in Levashov’s name, registered from an IP address that had often connected to the Luxembourg server. The affidavit requests information on the account — including “login IP addresses associated with session times and dates” — based on Levashov’s apparent connection to Kelihos spam empire.”

“The request was successful,” Brandom reports. “The same day the request was filed, a warrant was granted and Apple was placed under a gag order forbidding the company from sharing information about the case.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: More info about Apple and government & law enforcement requests here.

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iCloud changes put Apple on collision course with overreaching governments – July 20, 2017
U.S. Customs can search phones but not data stored solely in the cloud – July 14, 2017
U.S. Immigration spent record amount on phone hacking tech just after President Trump’s travel ban – April 13, 2017
Alabama’s governor was undone, in part, by Apple’s iCloud – April 11, 2017
American citizens: U.S. border agents can search your iPhone – March 14, 2017
Why I’m all-in on Apple but not on iCloud – March 29, 2017
How to get past customs without surrendering your digital privacy – February 17, 2017


  1. Hillary aided and abetted Peter Levashov allegedly with her homebrew, unsecure server in the basement. But the DOJ will not charge her since not even war criminal Bush (invading Iraq unprovoked) is arrested.

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