Ex-anti-virus tech flogged MacDefender malware

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Botnet bloodbath continues.

A former information security engineer had operated the Kelihos botnet, the primary distribution system for the MacDefender malware, Microsoft says.

Microsoft alleged Andrey Sabelnikov, a Russian citizen and former security vendor staffer, was responsible operations of the botnet.

The Redmond giant took down Kelihos in September.

Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit senior attorney Richard Boscovich said it presented to court evidence 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. These allegations are based on evidence Microsoft investigators uncovered while analysing the Kelihos malware," Boscovich said.

Microsoft alleged Sabelnikov registered more than 3,700 cz.cc subdomains from Dominique Alexander Piatti and dotFREE Group SRO, and used them to operate Kelihos.

Charges against against Alexander PiattiPiatti and dotFREE Group were settled and dismissed last year. 

It was also revealed that Sabelnikov worked as a software engineer and project manager at Russian anti-virus firm Agnitum, a provider of firewalls, anti-virus and security software.

Microsoft doesn't specify where Sabelnikov worked, but security blogger Brian Krebs pointed out that Sabelnikov's LinkedIn page said he worked at the company from 2005 to 2007.

Krebs said that Sabelnikov's alleged role was discovered after a security researcher obtained a copy of the source code to Kelihos, who noticed it contained debug code that downloaded a Kelihos malware installer from the domain sabelnikov.net, a photography site registered to Sabelnikov's name.

That site currently links to Sabelnikov's profile page at Russian social networking site Vkontakte.ru, which includes the same pictures found in the LinkedIn profile.

Despite the takedown, Boscovich said that thousands of computers remain infected and that the case "is not over".

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition


Ex-anti-virus tech flogged MacDefender malware
 
 
 
Top Stories
Tech SWAT teams kicking down the digital door
From dam engineers in Ecuador to Sydney light-rail gurus, Cardno's global CIO Karen Wagner is linking up her widespread organisation.
 
Brandis hits telcos with new security reforms
Civil penalties for those who don't comply.
 
When does an insurance company turn into a software vendor?
The lines are blurring for ASX-listed Cover-More Group.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
New Microsoft Office apps for Android phones
Jun 26, 2015
Microsoft's latest Office apps for Android now work on phones as well as tablets, further ...
Windows 10 UK price revealed, but don't believe everything you hear
Jun 26, 2015
Windows 10 £99 price tag for users in the UK (who presumably don't already have Win 7 Pro ...
Now Xero notifies iOS users of new transactions
Jun 24, 2015
The latest version of Xero's iPhone app includes notifications when new transactions arrive from ...
Your Essential Cloud Toolbox
Jun 22, 2015
When BIT interviewed Receipt Bank country manager Sophie Hossack, we asked for her thoughts on ...
Toshiba laptops to get “Cortana button” ahead of Windows 10 launch
Jun 19, 2015
Toshiba introduces 12 new laptops, all aimed at getting the most out of Microsoft's digital ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Is site blocking effective in stopping piracy?


   |   View results
Yes
  2%
 
No
  86%
 
Somewhat
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 497

Vote