[Updated at 11:00 p.m.] Oleg Nikolaenko, a Russian man the FBI believes has been responsible for one-third of the spam in your inbox, pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Wisconsin.
[Posted at 10:20 a.m.] A Russian man the FBI believes has been responsible for one-third of the spam you get in your inbox is scheduled to be arraigned in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, court Monday.
According to court documents and FBI affidavits, researchers began tracking down the "Mega-D" spam automated botnet as a prime source of selling counterfeit goods, and the mastermind of it all is Oleg Nikolaenko.
"'Mega-D" was likely the largest botnet in the world, accounting for 32% of all spam," the court documents said. "Security researchers estimated that the botnet was capable of sending ten billion spam email messages a day.”
The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the last 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Management of snow storm lacking, officials say: The New York Thruway Authority said it could have done a better job in dealing with a snowstorm that caused accidents and shut down a section of interstate highway near Buffalo
Britney Spears puts rumors to rest: Britney Spears had a special treat for her fans on her 29th birthday – the singer announced that she's releasing a new album.
A look at the day's business news headlines:
Stocks make a late-stage comeback
Stocks turned higher during the last hour of trade Friday, as investors moved beyond the report that showed U.S. job growth in November was much slower than expected.
Instead, they focused on what favorable policy decisions might be triggered by the disappointing numbers.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.2%, led by gains in Bank of America, as well as the materials sector, including DuPont, Alcoa and Caterpillar.
The S&P 500 added 3 points, or 0.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq drifted into positive territory earlier in the day, and finished up 12 points, or 0.5%.
It’s been five months since LeBron James made his infamous “Decision,” and no one can deny the Heat’s young season is exactly going as planned. especially after Thursday night.
In the most anticipated game of the NBA season, the Heat played arguably its most sound game so far this year, cruising to a 118-90 victory over the Cavaliers.
LeBron’s return to Cleveland was greeted by Cavaliers fans with enough angst to warm the bitter-cold city. Unfortunately for them, LeBron’s night couldn’t have gone much better. From his pre-game rituatl chalk routine – to which he did to no avail – to his season-high 38 points, LeBron shook off the boos and the chants. He played so well he was able to sit out the entire fourth quarter, victory in hand.
Though the superstar could not have asked for a better homecoming given the circumstances, SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg wonders if LeBron realizes what he's missing by having gone to South Beach in chase of titles.
“The Heat may win championships, but their fans will never pack their arena simply to boo,” writes Rosenberg. “The team will never be ingrained in the city's fabric like every Cleveland team is. There are passionate fans in Miami, of course, but not as many... Any town can celebrate championships. Cleveland celebrates heartache.”
The most talked-about college football scandal in years appears to have been resolved — at least for now.
When Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton takes the field for the SEC title game against South Carolina Saturday, he will have been absolved of any wrongdoing by the NCAA in spite of an investigation concluding his father shopped him around to programs asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his son’s signature.
And even though the Heisman hopeful has been cleared to play that game and the BCS National Championship should they win—the Tiger’s success won’t tame the talk. Newton’s story has been a hot topic because it speaks to the heart of many who suspect college athletics are corrupt.
For those who don’t know the Newton story, it all started a month ago when stories about a pay-for-play scandal started surfacing involving Newton and his father, the Rev. Cecil Newton. Here’s a recap of how we got here:
The U.S. Air Force's first unmanned space plane returned to Earth Friday, but its mission remains shrouded in secrecy.
The X-37B, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 1, landed at 1:15 a.m. at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base after spending more than seven months in space on its maiden voyage.
"Today's landing culminates a successful mission based on close teamwork between the 30th Space Wing, Boeing and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office," said Lt. Col. Troy Giese, the X-37B program manager from the AFRCO. "We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission."
During its 220 days in orbit, the unmanned space plane conducted "on-orbit experiments" and "fired its orbital maneuver engine in low-earth orbit to perform an autonomous re-entry before landing," the Air Force said in a press release.
Otherwise, the exact nature of X-37B's mission is unclear because it remains classified.
Some analysts have speculated that the spacecraft is an unmanned orbital spy platform and not a weapon, according to Space.com.
U.S. officials at the Pentagon and State Department denied Friday knowing of any efforts to take down the WikiLeaks website or asking companies to do so.
The site's efforts to publish 250,000 diplomatic cables has been hampered by denial-of-service attacks, ejection from its server host and cancellation of its name by its American domain name provider. Each time WikiLeaks has worked out other arrangements to bring the site back online.
In written answers to readers' questions posted on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange alleged "abusive elements of the United States government" were behind the site's technical problems. A State Department spokesman disputed that the U.S. government was involved.
"I am not aware of any conversations by the United States government with either any internet host here or any government over there at this point," said spokesman P.J. Crowley.
A Defense Department official also denied causing the technical problems slowing the WikiLeaks release of secret U.S. government documents.
Remember Anthro 101? You probably learned about far-off cultures and methods of observing human social life, in addition to some human evolution, perhaps. Your professor likely referenced published research, and the course catalog said it was a “social science.”
So naturally there was an online uproar when the American Anthropological Association took out the word “science” from its long-term goal statement at a meeting on November 20.
This week, Twitter has been buzzing with anthropologists and social science enthusiasts weighing in on #aaafail, concerned that anthropology is rejecting science. And the American Anthropological Association is receiving a slew of comments and petitions to change the statement, which will be taken into consideration, said Damon Dozier, spokesman for the group.
"Our process is built up through engagement, and I think that engagement is happening now," he said.
Leaders of the different branches of the U.S. armed forces gave sharply divergent answers to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday when asked whether the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy should be repealed, and what the consequences of a repeal might be.
They appeared united, however, in their belief that a repeal would be better handled if ordered by congressional legislation rather than a ruling from the courts.
The strongest resistance to allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly came from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, who warned of potentially strong repercussions in terms of unit cohesion.
President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Friday on a surprise visit.
The president is expected to address troops at Bagram Airfield.
A major U.S. military review of the war in Afghanistan is due this month, a year after Obama ordered additional U.S. troops to the country as part of a strategy that would see some forces coming home as soon as July 2011.
The former Alaska governor lost her bid for vice president but continues to blaze a trail for other ultraconservatives to follow.
Palin wrote a book after her election loss, and now fellow Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell is doing likewise.
O'Donnell will write a book to be published next year by St. Martin's Press, the company announced Thursday.
"It's time to set the record straight & move forward," O'Donnell wrote in announcing the deal on Twitter.
A near two-century-old copy of "The Star Spangled Banner" sold for $506,500 Friday at Christie's auction house in Manhattan.
The famed sheet music is one of 11 known first edition copies of Francis Scott Key's patriotic tune, said to be written after he witnessed the British naval bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
The iconic manuscript was sold to a telephone bidder, who was not immediately named.
Key, then a young lawyer and amateur poet, is said to have boarded a truce vessel in the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to negotiate the release of a detained American doctor, according to documents from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
But Key was himself detained overnight by Royal navy officials to ensure their plans for the assault on the fort were not revealed to its defenders. His vantage point aboard the British ship is said to have offered sweeping views of the ensuing battle, spanning the night of September 13 to the morning of September 14, 1814.
Israeli police said Friday that they have found a number of "suspicious articles," leading them to believe that arsonists may have been behind a deadly wildfire raging in northern Israel - the worst in the nation's history.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said "suspicious objects" found in one of the four centers where the blaze originated Thursday raised suspicions that the fire, which has killed 41 and injured 17, was started by arsonists. Rosenfeld did not describe the objects that were found.
Meanwhile Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked more than 13 nations for sending emergency crews and equipment to help quell the 3,700-acre fire in areas surrounding the Carmel Forest.
Move over Santa, it's Pete time- For the last 20 years a man simply known as "Pete" has been leaving thousands of dollars worth of cash in creatively wrapped packages that he hides at a rehabilitation center in Indiana. He calls the center every year and says, "It's Pete time!" The more than $70,000 in donations has helped countless kids suffering from disabilities and brings a new Christmas icon to Evansville - the elusive Saint Pete.
NASA says the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery has now tentatively been moved to no earlier than February 3rd.
The launch, originally scheduled to blast off on November 5, has been plagued with technical problems delaying the mission.
Discovery's departure has been delayed several times because of bad weather, gas leaks, electrical glitches and cracks found on the shuttle's external fuel tank.
The voyage is expected to be the last for Discovery as NASA prepares to retire the shuttle fleet.
Defying expectations, more than 60% of President Obama's debt commission voted Friday in favor of the group's final recommendations for reducing the country's long-term debt.
In a strong bipartisan showing, 11 of 18 members voted yes. Five Democrats, five Republicans and one independent voted in favor of the panel's debt-reduction plan. Those who voted against it included four Democrats and three Republicans.
But the result still fell short of the 14 votes needed in order for the commission to present its recommendations to Congress for a legislative vote.
Ron Santo, who played third base for the Chicago Cubs for 15 years and later joined their broadcast team, died of complications of bladder cancer Thursday night, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was 70.
Santo suffered from juvenile diabetes, which he kept secret even from his teammates. He was loved in Chicago as a great player on a bad team in the 1960s and '70s. He played his final season for the crosstown White Sox in 1974. The Cubs retired the nine-time All-Star's No. 10 after he retired.
[Updated at 10:19 a.m.] The U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website have been spread to more than 100,000 people in encrypted form, ensuring they can be released publicly if the main website is attacked or taken down, founder Julian Assange said Friday.
He noted in response to a reader's question on The Guardian newspaper's website that the cables also are in the hands of multiple news organizations, ensuring their release.
"History will win," Assange said in his final answer to readers' questions. "The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you."
[Updated at 9:52 a.m.] WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is willing to be the "lightning rod" for criticism and attacks against his website because giving the site a public face lends it credibility and also encourages sources to step forward.
An Ottawa man is behind bars Friday after being charged in the crossbow slaying of a man at a Toronto library, according to news reports.
The suspect, identified as Zhou Fang, 24, by CNN affiliate CBC News, was taken into police custody after the attack, which took place Thursday afternoon during business hours. The victim was Si Cheng, 52, of Toronto, CBC News reported.
A tweet on the Toronto Public Library's Twitter account said Friday morning, "The Main St. Branch remains closed. We will provide support to anyone - staff, patrons, witnesses - affected by the tragedy."