Russia prosecutes suspected BlackHole author and 12 cohorts

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Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has revealed that the author of the infamous BlackHole exploit kit is being prosecuted in the country.

The news came via an MIA press release posted online Friday, two months after Troels Oerting, the head of the European Cybercrime Centre, confirmed that the crimeware kit's author had been arrested by Russian police.

The individual reportedly goes by the online alias “Paunch.”

Also being prosecuted are 13 people suspected of involvement and in the creation of the “criminal community” – whose malicious activities resulted in about 70 million rubles, or around $2 million, in damages, MIA said.

Through the dissemination of the commercial crimeware kit BlackHole, the alleged suspects were able to steal bank login credentials and other information, and send lenders fraudulent payment orders on behalf of victimized account holders, authorities said.

Exploit kits are sold on the black market as a means of easily serving malware from compromised sites. The kits often deliver exploits for vulnerabilities, both of the publicly known and unknown variety, in widely deployed software, such as Java or Adobe.

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