The man believed to be responsible for distributing the notorious Blackhole malware toolkit has been arrested in Russia, a source told Reuters today.

The source, a former Russian police detective in contact with Russia’s federal government, said that the man went by “Paunch” in hacking circles. No other information was given, but a spokesman for Europol in the Hague told Reuters that the police agency “had been informed that a high-level suspected cyber-criminal” had been arrested in Russia. Blackhole is a widely known exploit toolkit that makes “drive-by” attacks easier for hackers to execute. It allows criminals to inject malware onto PCs that either visit exploit sites or are redirected to exploit sites from compromised websites.

As one of the primary names behind Blackhole, Paunch kept the toolkit current as new weaknesses in commonly used programs were discovered: in 2012 Paunch released Blackhole 2.0, and recent custom versions of the toolkit incorporated ways to exploit vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Java’s browser plugin.     

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