SOFTWARE SHOP Microsoft has closed down its investigation of the Kelihos botnet with the announcement that it has settled with its last defendant.
In a blog post Microsoft said that it has settled with Russian software programmer Andrey N. Sabelnikov and came to an agreement that he contributed at least some code towards the creation of the botnet. The firm and the defendant released a joint statement announcing the settlement.
"Microsoft and St. Petersburg software programmer Andrey Sabelnikov have entered into a Settlement Agreement in the matter of Microsoft v. Sabelnikov. During the negotiations, after reviewing the evidence provided by Microsoft and engaging in discussions, the parties have come to an understanding that Mr. Sabelnikov wrote code that was used in the Kelihos botnet code, but the programmer is not the operator of the botnet or involved in its activities," it says.
"After a review and understanding of all of the details of the case, the parties were able to enter into a confidential settlement agreement in this matter, which resolves the dispute between the parties."
The blog post, signed by Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel for Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, says that identifying the code writer has helped Microsoft get a better understanding of botnets.
This is good news, since back in January Microsoft was so confused in its Kelihos investigations that it was accusing Sabelnikov of either controlling or operating the botnet. µ