An infamous Russian hacker, Dmitry Fedotov aka ”Paunch”, who developed the Blackhole and Cool exploit kits, had been sentenced to 7 years in prison or labor camp by the Zamoskvoretskiy Moscow court. Along with Fedotov, twelve other suspects were arrested back in 2013 October. Among from the 12, six of them were found guilty by court and are facing a prison or labor camp time between 5.5 and 8 years.
Paunch made the dreaded Blackhole kit available to cybercriminals on a rental basis for years on dark web forums. The exploit kit was frequently updated with fresh web-based vulnerabilities used to find and exploit holes in the victims’ systems, steal credentials and spy upon targets.
According to Russian law enforcement authorities, Paunch along with his partners once carried out an attack against Russian banks with the use of their own exploit kit. This caused a damage worth 70 million Russian Rubles which is nearly the equivalent of $2.1 million.
Fedotov started his hacker career back in 2010, this was the year when he developed the Blackhole exploit kit. He allegedly made about $50,000 a month by selling or offering renting services of the software to other hackers. The Blackhole exploit kit’s price was ranging from $500 to $700 per month on dark web hacking forums. The source code was only made public by someone after Fedotov was arrested in 2013.
Paunch along with a fellow hacker, J.P. Morgan, was also involved in the development of the Cool exploit kit. Thanks to the reputation of Fedotov in the underground community, the Cool exploit kit received support from other hackers while the software was in its pre-development stage. The Cool exploit kit was pre-announced as a high-end crimeware kit that would also come with browser vulnerabilities. The project, however, failed to launch or develop further after Paunch’s arrest.