Feeds

Russia charges 'criminal organization' behind Blackhole malware kit

Banking fraud scheme funneled 70m rubles to crooks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.