Microsoft closes Kelihos botnet case after latest settlement

Share this article:

Andrey Sabelnikov, a Russian software programmer named in January as a defendant in the Kelihos botnet case, has reached a confidential settlement with Microsoft -- a development that effectively closes the case.

Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel for Microsoft's digital crimes unit, announced the news Friday on the company's TechNet blog, where a joint statement with Sabelnikov said the programmer was “not the operator of the botnet or involved in its activities,” although he did write code for the large network of compromised PCs.

Microsoft shut down the now-defunct Kelihos botnet in September 2011, after finding that the network of approximately 41,000 infected computers was capable, at its peak, of spamming out 3.8 billion emails a day. Allegedly, victims' personal information, like emails and passwords, were stolen and sites promoting the sexual exploitation of children were promoted through the botnet, among other scams, according to Microsoft.

The Kelihos botnet was dismantled on more than one occasion by Microsoft, as its perpetrators continued to resurrect the network by tweaking the malware used in the attacks.

Last October, Microsoft dismissed its case against another defendant, Dominique Piatti, and his company, dotFREE Group SRO, after a settlement was reached.

As a part of the terms of that settlement, Piatti agreed to delete or transfer subdomains connected to the Kelihos botnet, which led to Microsoft uncovering additional evidence that led to action against Sabelnikov.

“Today, I am pleased to say we have reached an agreement with Mr. Sabelnikov, and have officially settled and closed the Kelihos botnet case," Boscovich wrote.

Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Brazilian president signs internet 'Bill of Rights' into law

Brazilian president signs internet 'Bill of Rights' into ...

President Dilma Rousseff signed the legislation on Wednesday at the NetMundial conference in Sao Paulo.

Android trojan sends premium SMS messages, targets U.S. users for first time

Android trojan sends premium SMS messages, targets U.S. ...

An SMS trojan for Android, known as FakeInst, has been observed sending premium SMS messages to users all over the world, including, for the first time, the United States.

Report: DDoS up in Q4 2013, vulnerability scanners leveraged to exploit sites

Report: DDoS up in Q4 2013, vulnerability scanners ...

Researchers observed 346 DDoS attacks in the final quarter of 2013 and attackers used Vega and Skipfish vulnerability scanners to exploit web flaws at financial companies.