Feeds

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

Sabelnikov denies botnet herder allegation

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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). ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.