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12 suspected cybercriminals arrested in Russia along with the creator of Blackhole

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Sunday, 15 December 2013 18:52 Written by DFM Team

Thirteen people, including the creator of the exploit kit, Blackhole, were arrested and charged in Russia with creating and participating in a criminal organization.

The gang specialized in stealing money from the bank accounts of individuals and organizations through the use of Trojans to gain unauthorized access to legally protected information such as log-in information, passwords, electronic keys and certificates.

The malware was installed on computers by exploiting software vulnerabilities using the Blackhole exploit kit, a very popular attack tool among cybercriminals.

The information stolen on a network of command-and-control servers operated by the suspects and was subsequently used to set up fraudulent payment orders on behalf of the victims. The recipients of the stolen funds were individuals or entities controlled by members of the gang.

The group's activity affected customers of Russian banks in the Moscow, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Krasnodar, Petrozavodsk and Kursk regions and the damage is estimated at 70 million Russian roubles (over US$2.1 million).

The information that the creator of Blackhole, a man who used the online identity "Paunch," was arrested got leaked online in early October by people familiar with the investigation.

Paunch, who is 27, was arrested on Oct. 4 and was residing in Togliatti, a city in Samara Oblast, Russia, according to Group-IB, a cybercrime investigations firm that assisted the Russian police in the case. His name has not been disclosed by the Russian Ministry of Interior or Group-IB.

Aside from the Blackhole exploit kit, Paunch also created the Cool Exploit Kit and Crypt.am, a service for obfuscating malware code to prevent its detection by antivirus programs, Group-IB said in a report sent Friday via email.

 
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