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Microsoft Settled Charges against DotFree Group and its Owner

Software Developer Microsoft claimed that it has agreed on an out-of-court settlement with Dominique Alexander Piatti and its firm DotFree Group. The firm was charged of sheltering malware writers and botnet distributors, as per the reports by theinquirer.net on October 27, 2011.

The lawsuit was earlier filed as part of Microsoft's takedown of Kelihos botnet. DotFree Group was accused of intentionally enabling the botnet's controllers to use its server for command and control (C&C) operations.

Richard Domingues Boscovich, Senior Attorney with Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit said that after the Kelihos takedown they trying to settle down matters with Mr. Piatti and the DotFree Group. Boscovich added that after examining the evidence given by Mr. Piatti, it seems that neither Piatti nor his company was concerned in controlling the subdomains utilized to host the Kelihos botnet, as per the news by v3.co.uk on October 27, 2011.

Boscovich stated that the regulators of the Kelihos botnet leveraged the subdomain services provided by Mr. Piatti's cz.cc domain.

Also, as part of the dismissal agreement of the lawsuit, Piatti will send out the address and domains of the remaining defendants to Microsoft and will collaborate with Microsoft security experts to come up with solutions for circumventing similar situations in its free domain hosting business.

Boscovich wrote that they are satisfied with the outcome for many reasons. Firstly, this settlement enables them to move forward with their investigation. Secondly, with the access to the subdomains, they can closely look at the Kelihos botnet and can find out the unique IP addresses that are hit with botnet's malware, as per the reports by redmondmag.com on October 27, 2011.

Nearly 42,000-45,000 infected systems is said to be affected with the Kelihos botnet and almost 4 billion spam mails are sent every day before Microsoft took action to close it down. While Microsoft opines that they have detached the malware from a huge portion of users who were affected though there are still many innocent users that are ignorant of the harmful program's presence.

Although, Microsoft has settled this lawsuit, the 22 unnamed defendants are still under limelight. Microsoft informed that they will continue their investigation to find out the culprit behind the Kelihos botnet.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

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