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Kelihos Botnet Operator Arrested In Spain Under US Investigation

United States law enforcement and Spanish police have arrested the spammer behind the Kelihos botnet operation. The Russian cyber-criminal is alleged to be part of the operation that’s said to have influenced the United States elections in 2016. Those rumors seem to lack any basis, however.

The Arrest of Peter Yuryevich Levashov for Kelihos Botnet

The alleged scammer was arrested in Spain. Levashov is supposed to play a role in the Kelihos botnet as an operator. The arrest was carried out as a part of an America investigation into the Russian botnet operation.

The news comes soon after a massive attack by the botnet.

Peter was caught while making a seemingly rookie mistake – logging into personal and “professional” accounts through the same IP and leaving identifiable web-trail. The botnet is run from Russia, a country that usually doesn’t extradite prisoners to America and rarely cooperates with US law enforcement, due to the rocky relationship between the two powers. The botnet operator was caught while on vacation in Spain.

Since its creation in 2010, the Kelihos botnet is responsible for a massive level of spam, theft of personal information, and the disruption of thousands of users. The malware also played a massive role in the theft of BitCoins and enslaving victim PC for mining operations.

Now that the culprit has been caught, the Kelihos botnet will have a harder time pestering people. However, it seems unlikely that Kelihos was a one-man show. It’s very probable that the malicious operations of the botnet will come back in one form or another.

Even if Levashov cooperates with US authorities and gives information to them, they can’t arrest people that are located in Russia. It seems almost like a lucky break that the botnet operator decided to get careless with his emails and vacation planning. Otherwise, the US authorities couldn’t arrest and bring Peter to justice.

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Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a beat writer for Best Security Search. When he's not busy researching cyber-security matters, he enjoys sports and writing about himself in third person.