Blackhole exploit kit author sentenced

Dmitry Fedotov, aka “Paunch”, the creator of the infamous Blackhole and Cool exploit kits, has been sentenced to spend 7 years in prison, Russian news agency TASS has reported (in Russian).

Six of his criminal collaborators have also been handled prison sentences, spanning from 5.5 years to 8, and they will be serving them in a penal colony.

The group, which formed a criminal organization, have been found guilty of hacking, fraud and unauthorized access to computer and user information.

They hacked bank websites, as well as used malware (delivered via exploit kit) to compromise users’ computers and steal sensitive information such as login credentials.

Having gained remote access to the machines, they would use them to access the victims’ online banking accounts and perform fraudulent money transfers – in effect, they stole their money.

According to the prosecution, the damage done by the defendants amounted to over 25 million rubles (around $380,000).

It is widely believed that Russian authorities leave Russian hackers alone if they don’t target other Russians or citizens of nations that used to be in the former Soviet Union. This group apparently made the mistake of doing just that.

The gang was arrested in October 2013.

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