Vardan Kushnir

Vardan Kushnir

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Vardan Kushnir

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Vardan Vardanovich Kushnir (November 22, 1969 – July 24, 2005) was a notorious spammer of Armenian-Jewish descent who ran the American Language Center (ALC) and who is believed to have spammed the entire population of Russian-language Internet users with ads for his language courses. Kushnir was murdered in 2005.


According to some estimates, his ads reached 25 million users at his peak, between 2003 and 2004. Although only Muscovites were eligible to sign up, the ads went to many other countries, including Ukraine, the United States and Israel.

Over the course of 2004 his output began to fall. He was almost completely forced off public email systems and resorted instead to using pager network ICQ.

Public opprobrium against him was so great that his personal information was widely posted throughout the internet. The country's deputy minister of communications, Andrey Korotkov, recorded a message urging Kushnir to stop what he was doing, and , one of the country's larger Internet Service Providers, set up a computer that dialed ALC's telephone numbers continuously, playing Korotkov's message. The company's website also became the target of DDOS attacks, and its phone numbers were posted anywhere and everywhere on the Russian-language web, as contacts for anything from sex to cheap real estate.

During 2002-2005 Kushnir and his company attempted to use ISP for connectivity but was turned away numerous times and finally managed to connect via a neighborhood SOHO-styled...
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