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Russian payment processing boss held over DDoS-for-hire plot

Purported pill-pusher pinched

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The co-founder of Russian payment processing firm ChronoPay was arrested last Thursday over allegations that he hired a hacker to run a denial of service attack against a business rival.

Pavel Vrublevsky, 32, an alleged co-owner of the Rx-Promotion rogue online pharmacy program as well as the acting head of ChronoPay, was quizzed over allegations that he launched an attack on business rival Assist.ru. The assault was reportedly designed to strengthen ChronoPay's hand at a time when both it and Assist.ru was bidding for business from Russian flag carrier Aeroflot.

Moscow-based ChronoPay also runs offices in the Netherlands and Latvia. Vrublevsky's arrest comes days after an international police operation led to the arrest of two Latvians suspected of masterminding a rogue anti-virus (AKA scareware) scam. ChronoPay has repeatedly been linked with supplying payment services to scareware outfits, security blogger and ex-Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs reports.

The FT adds that Vrublevsky was remanded in prison at a hearing on Friday at least until a hearing due to take place in around a month. Vrublevsky was reportedly arrested at Moscow airport on his return from holiday as part of an investigation by the Russian Federal Security Service. ®

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