Microsoft Declares Man behind Kelihos Botnet

According to Microsoft, it has been able to trace the person responsible for the Kelihos network of bots, which contaminated PCs with viruses for gaining hold over the systems and then maliciously utilized them for dispatching junk e-mails to other computers through Outlook and Hotmail e-mail accounts.

The person identified is Andrey N. Sabelnikov, who lives in St. Petersburg and is a Russian citizen. Microsoft has blamed him for authoring the code to develop alternatively, take part in developing Kelihos, a destructive malicious program. Microsoft further accuses Sabelnikov of employing the program so he may grow, maintain, operate and control the Kelihos network of bots via contaminating unwitting users' PCs, among other activities.

Reportedly, there were 41,000 bot-infected PCs from across the world in the Kelihos botnet that could spam 3.8bn messages daily till September last (2011) when Microsoft shut it down.

Meanwhile, there have been other defendants too besides Sabelnikov in the Kelihos instance. The botnet, by now, has worked like a lawful basis to effectively interrupt a worldwide malicious network causing problems to innumerable victims globally. When Microsoft filed Kelihos' first complaint during September 2011, the software giant maintained that Dominique Alexander Piatti of dotFREE Group SRO as well as John Does 1-22 ran one domain named cz.cc that they utilized for registering subsidiary domains like lewgdooi.cz.cc among the total 3,700 cz.cc sub-domains that they misused for running and regulating botnet Kelihos. These accusations Microsoft forwarded on the basis of clues its security researchers unearthed whilst examining the Kelihos malicious program.

Incidentally, by operating Kelihos in the way described, one particular trick its operators played happened to be the distribution of phony AV software popularly called scareware

Lawful documents related to Sabelnikov's case, however, do not recognize the security firm where Sabelnikov was employed alternatively the consulting organization for which he currently works as a freelancer. Nevertheless, as per the lawsuit, the St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrument Engineering has awarded Sabelnikov a degree on computer programming.

The security investigators at Microsoft state that, presently, the Kelihos network of bots isn't working, although several thousand PCs continue to be infected.

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

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