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Microsoft's Kelihos botnet suspect says he is innocent

A few days ago, Microsoft named Andrey Sabelnikov as a new defendant in its lawsuit surrounding the shut down Keilhos botnet. Now Sabelnikov has posted up a response on his blog site proclaiming his innocence in the case and adding that he was "surprised and shocked" to read about his alleged involvement in the press.

In his post, translated from Russian, St. Petersburg resident Sabelnikov states that he will prove his innocence in this case. He added:

I am absolutely not guilty, have never been involved in handling botnets or any other similar programs and what is more have never made any profit from such activity. I want to highlight that I have no connection either to the activity of Kelihos or to the distribution of spam.

Unfortunately, the avalanche of publications in the press, referencing inaccurate and distorted information, has inadvertently inflicted a great deal of psychological damage on the companies for whom I have worked or am working, and also adversely affected their business reputation.

The BBC got a statement from Microsoft's attorney in the case who said, "As this is a case pending in court, we cannot comment further except to say that we look forward to seeing Mr Sabelnikov in court so we can continue this discussion."

Microsoft first announced the shut down of the Kelihos botnet in September 2011. A few days ago, the company named Sabelnikov as a defendant in its lawsuit. Microsoft claims that its investigation showed that Sabelnikov  "wrote the code for and either created, or participated in creating, the Kelihos malware. Further, the complaint alleges that he used the malware to control, operate, maintain and grow the Kelihos botnet."

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