Blackhole Exploit Services Shut Down After Reported Arrest of Creators
While the service shutdown lends credence to reports that two of the creators of the cyber-crime malware kits were arrested in Russia, the impact is mostly psychological.The reported arrests of the creator of the Blackhole exploit kit, only referred to as "Paunch," and his partner in Russia will send a message to other cyber-criminals that they are not beyond the reach of law enforcement, but otherwise will have little real impact on the criminal underground, experts said this week. On Oct. 4, the service for updating the Blackhole exploit kit shut down and a second service, for encrypting malware to make it more difficult to detect, became inaccessible, Jeff Williams, director of security strategy for managed-security firm Dell Secureworks, told eWEEK. Without those services, Blackhole installations will eventually fail or become irrelevant. The reported arrest highlights the improved teamwork among the law enforcement agencies of the United States and other countries, Williams said. "I think it is a powerful move by law enforcement, and I'm glad to see it happen," he said. "Not only does it take some of the players involved in the Blackhole exploit kit out of the picture for the time being, but also it acts as a chilling effect for some criminals who may no longer believe that they are above the law."
The arrest, which took place last week, has been confirmed by Russian authorities and Europol, the European Union's law enforcement and criminal intelligence agency, according to media reports.