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Microsoft dismantles Kelihos botnet, sues operators

updated 09:50 pm EDT, Tue September 27, 2011

Botnet accused of running MacDefender scam

Microsoft has announced that it has successfully dismantled yet another botnet, which it refers to as Kelihos. The botnet, which has been known by some as "Waledac 2.0," is said to be smaller than other operations, however the company has finally been able to provide the real name for a defendant in a lawsuit aimed at the operators.

Despite its small size in comparison to other botnets, Kelihos was said to be run via approximately 41,000 infected computers and capable of distributing 3.8 billion spam e-mails each day. Microsoft blames the system for delivering the Mac malware MacDefender, harvesting personal information, fraudulent stock scams, and even running websites that promoted the sexual exploitation of children.

"Through this case, we hope to demonstrate that if domain owners don't hold themselves accountable for knowing their customers, they will be held accountable for what is happening on their infrastructure," said Microsoft Senior Attorney Richard Boscovich. "Our goal is for this case to spur an industry-wide discussion for more public and accountable subdomain registration practices to enable a safer, more secure Internet for all users."

To clean computers that have already been infected with Kelihos, Microsoft has updated its Malicious Software Removal Tool.

by MacNN Staff



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