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Microsoft says ex-Russian anti-virus developer behind botnet creation

London , Wed, 25 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 24 (ANI): Software giant Microsoft has identified a former Russian employee of an antivirus software firm as the alleged operator of a botnet, which distributed over 3.8 billion spam in a day.


Microsoft said that Russian citizen Andrey Sabelnikov "wrote and/or participated in creating" the harmful Kelihos botnet, which infected thousands of machines.


The company said Sabelnikov is currently working on a freelance basis with a software development and consulting firm, The BBC reports.


Prior to this, Sabelnikov is said to have worked as a software engineer and project manager at "a company that provided firewall, antivirus and security software".


Microsoft did not name the company, however, Sabelnikov's LinkedIn profile lists St Petersburg-based antivirus firm Agnitum among Sabelnikov's former employers, the report said.


Botnets like Kelihos are created by the spread of malicious software, often via infected emails or web browser vulnerabilities.


Each "bot", as they are known, is a hijacked computer, which can be used by hackers for any number of illegal activities.


At Kelihos' peak, it was said to have been in control of 41,000 infected machines and able to send over 3.8 billion spam emails in a day.


According to the report, Microsoft said that it had filed an amended complaint with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia regarding the matter. (ANI)


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