The FBI has quietly solved a rash of bulk database thefts that affected 168 million users of some of the internet’s most popular websites, The Daily Beast has learned.
The culprit in the breaches is a 28-year-old Arkansas man named Kyle Milliken, who, along with colleagues, stole email addresses and account passwords to feed a lucrative and hugely annoying spam operation that ran from 2010 to 2014.
Last month Milliken was sentenced to 17 months at a federal work camp—a sentence lightened by his cooperation with the FBI. He’s set to begin his sentence on May 24. His case remains under seal in federal court in San Jose, California, and with it the remarkable story of a high school dropout from rural Arkansas who rode a wave of hacking and spam to the pinnacle of California high life, until a moment of carelessness reversed his fortunes overnight.