Microsoft names new defendant in Kelihos case

Microsoft named a new defendant in the legal case following the takedown of the Kelihos botnet in collaboration with Kyrus Inc. and Kaspersky Labs last September. The amended complaint, filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, names Andrey N. Sabelnikov, a citizen of Russia and a resident of St. Petersburg, as the alleged individual responsible for the operations of the Kelihos botnet.

The original lawsuit, filed in September 2011, alleged that Dominique Alexander Piatti and dotFREE Group used subdomains on the domain cz.cc to operate and control the Kelihos botnet. That case was settled and dismissed on October 26, but thanks to new evidence and the cooperation of Piatti and dotFREE Group, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit was able to pinpoint Sabelnikov as the new alleged culprit.

The new complaint filed by Microsoft presented evidence to the court that alleges Sabelnikov was the author of the code and either created, or participated in creating, the Kelihos malware, and registered over 3,700 cz.cc subdomains to operate and control the botnet.

Microsoft's announcement notes that while the Kelihos botnet is still inactive following its successful takedown in September, thousands of computers are still infected with the malware. They provided a link to free information and tools to clean infected computers.

The full complaint filed by Microsoft can be read in this PDF document.

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