Microsoft’s Kelihos botnet suspect used to work for computer security firm

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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Microsoft has named a 31-year-old Russian, who used to work at a firm producing anti-virus and firewall software, believing him to be responsible for attacks perpetrated by the Kelihos botnet.

Andrey Sabelnikov, of St Petersburg, Russia, has been named in an amended complaint filed by the software giant with the US District Court.

Microsoft says it believes that Sabelnikov created the Kelihos malware, and alleges that he “used the malware to control, operate, maintain and grow the Kelihos botnet”.

Furthermore, Microsoft alleges that Sabelnikov registered 3,723 “” website subdomains, and misused those subdomains to operate and control the Kelihos botnet for the purposes of sending spam.

What is perhaps most surprising is Sabelnikov’s background. According to his public LinkedIn profile, from…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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