Feeds

Russia charges 'criminal organization' behind Blackhole malware kit

Banking fraud scheme funneled 70m rubles to crooks

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Russian government has charged a group of people with organized crime offenses related to the creation and use of the Blackhole malware kit.

Word first leaked out via Europol in October that a man going by the alias "Paunch", who was suspected of being the creator of the infamous crimeware tool, had been arrested in Russia.

On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs Investigation Department posted a notice that a total of 13 individuals had been charged with crimes under Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which covers "creation of a criminal community (criminal organization) and participation therein."

According to the Ministry's press release, the group used Trojan horse programs and other malware to engage in "massive embezzlement of funds from the accounts of individuals and legal entities," to the tune of about 70m Russian rubles ($2.1m).

Russian banks throughout Moscow, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Krasnodar, Petrozavodsk, and the Kursk region were reportedly targeted in the scheme.

All of that seems to have come to an end now, however, as security researchers report that the Blackhole kit stopped being updated shortly after the suspects were arrested – aren't life's little coincidences funny sometimes? – and cybercriminals have reportedly begun moving on to other tools.

None of the accused were named in the Russian government's notice.

Under Russian law, anyone convicted under paragraph 1 of Article 210, "creation of a criminal community (criminal organization) for the purpose of committing one or several grave or especially grave crimes," faces imprisonment for 12-20 years and fines of up to 1m rubles ($30,600).

The accused have also been charged under paragraph 2 of Article 210, "participation in a criminal community (criminal organization) or in an association of organizers, leaders, or other representatives of organized groups," which carries an additional penalty of 5-10 years' imprisonment and fines up to 500,000 rubles ($15,300).

The accused are all currently being held under "pretrial restraints," although no date was given for when the case is expected to be brought before a judge. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.