This Is Why You’ve Been Getting So. Much. Spam.

A security researcher based in Paris who goes by the online alias “Benkow” recently stumbled across a treasure trove of data—40 gigabytes worth—related to a notorious spambot, a computer program used to send spam, dubbed “Onliner.” The cache contains 711 email addresses and millions of hacked passwords, and it provides a glimpse inside the distribution channel of a vast cybercriminal operation.

In this case, “Benkow” uncovered the spambot’s command and control server, the machine that orchestrates a spam campaign’s activity, as ZDNet first reported on Tuesday. The server’s directory was open, meaning he was able to download all the data therein contained, as he explained in a post on his personal Google (GOOG, -0.21%) Blogspot website.