Industry News

Russian Police Reportedly Arrest BlackHole Mastermind

Russian police appear to have taken into custody the mastermind behind Blackhole and Cool – two exploit packs widely used in malicious cyber-attacks. The suspect is thought to have hidden behind Paunch – a nickname associated with the architect of the two crime packs.

“Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre has been informed that a high-level suspected cyber-criminal has been arrested,” a Europol spokesperson told the BBC. “We can only refer you to the Russian authorities, they are the ones who should speak about this topic.” But Russian law enforcement has made no statement to this date as the case is still under investigation.

Blackhole and Cool are exploit kits sold by their creators to hacker gangs who use them to serve exploits via compromised websites and install onto the targeted systems other malware pieces, including money-stealing Trojans, ransomeware, viruses etc.

Practically anyone can become an attacker with a complete tool such as BlackHole or Cool. They only need to buy the kit and keep it updated. These crime packs are updated by their creators with the most recent exploits against various popular software programs or browser plug-ins, including Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Java and many more.

Unfortunately, whenever a crime kit is taken down, others take its place in a matter of days. Users need to always stay vigilant while online and respect security tips from the security community worldwide.

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.