Feeds

Microsoft's Kelihos kingpin suspect: It wasn't me

Sabelnikov denies botnet herder allegation

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Russian man named by Microsoft as the mastermind behind the Kelihos botnet has stepped forward to plead his innocence.

Microsoft filed suit in the US last week accusing Andrey Sabelnikov, of St Petersburg, of writing the Kelihos botnet agent and maintaining the network of zombie machines created using the malware to send billions of spam messages. At its peak, the Kelihos botnet included a legion of 41,000 infected machines capable of spewing out 3.8 billion spam emails per day. The network was effectively decapitated by a Microsoft-led takedown operation targeting command & control nodes last September.

Sabelnikov, a former employee of Russian security software firm Agnitum, stepped forward late last week to insist he is "absolutely not guilty [and has] never been involved in handling botnets or any other similar programs". Sabelnikov told the BBC he was "surprised and shocked" at the accusation, adding: "I will prove my innocence."

Microsoft is standing by its accusation that "Sabelnikov wrote the code for and either created, or participated in creating, the Kelihos malware". In addition, the software giant accuses the Russian of "using the malware to control, operate, maintain and grow the Kelihos botnet".

More specifically the lawsuit alleges that Sabelnikov registered more than 3,700 "cz.cc" subdomains from Czech firm dotFREE Group before using these subdomains to operate and control the Kelihos botnet.

A personal blog post by Sabelnikov denying any involvement in the Kelihos botnet operation can be found here (in Russian). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.