Feeds

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

Sabelnikov denies botnet herder allegation

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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). ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.