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Kelihos botnet suspect denies allegations, is “absolutely not guilty”

Recently, Microsoft named the man responsible for the operations of the Kelihos botnet, which was responsible for spam messages that promoted potentially dangerous counterfeit or unapproved pharmaceuticals. Today, that suspect responded to the allegations and claims innocence.

In the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft is claiming via evidence they uncovered by analyzing the botnet data that they have proof that Russian native Andrey N. Sabelnikov is the man responsible for creating, or participated in the creation of the Kelihos malware. On top of that, the complain states that Sabelnikov used the malware to control, operate, maintain, and grow the Kelihos botnet. Microsoft also states that Sabelnikov owns 3,700 “cz.cc” domains and miss-used those domains to operate and control the botnet.

“I was very surprised and shocked to read in the press that I was being accused of a grievous crime in connection with the Kelihos botnet. I am absolutely not guilty, have never been involved in handling botnets or any other similar programmes 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,” Sabelnikov stated in a blog post.

Microsoft, of course, is standing by its decision. “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,” said Richard Boscovich, senior attorney for Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit.

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