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Microsoft drops Kelihos botnet allegations against ISP owner

Still pursuing 22 unnamed perps
Thu Oct 27 2011, 13:49

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has settled a lawsuit with Dominique Alexander Piatti and Dotfree Group over allegations that the two had actively supported the Kelihos botnet.

Last month Microsoft announced that it had shut down the Kelihos botnet, which the firm suspected was linked to the much larger Rustock botnet that was taken down earlier this year. Upon taking down the Kelihos botnet, Microsoft named Piatti, the Dotfree Group and 22 unnamed John Does, alleging complicity in running the botnet. Now Microsoft has determined that Piatti and Dotfree did not knowingly aid in running the Kelihos botnet.

Piatti's and Dotfree's subdomain service that ran off the domain name was abused without either party controlling the subdomains directly. Microsoft now claims, "the controllers of the Kelihos botnet leveraged the subdomain services offered by Mr. Piatti's domain".

As part of the deal, Piatti has agreed to delete or transfer all the subdomains used to operate the Kelihos botnet to Microsoft. Microsoft claims that the logs from those subdomains will give it valuable information on those running the operation.

While Microsoft has settled with Piatti and Dotfree, the 22 unnamed defendants are still under the spotlight. Microsoft said that it will continue its investigation to find those behind the Kelihos botnet. µ


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