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Suspected ‘Black Hole’ Hacker Arrested A man suspected of being the hacker behind the Black Hole malware virus has been arrested in Russia. The individual, who was being pursued by Europol, is believed to be the man using the alias Paunch, who created the Blackhole and Cool exploit kits. These were sold to cyber criminals in order to infest web users with malware.

A Europol spokesperson said: "Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre has been informed that a high-level suspected cyber criminal has been arrested. "We can only refer you to the Russian authorities, they are the ones who should speak about this topic."

However, as yet there has been no confirmation from Russia about the details. The Black Hole was invented in 2010 and was particularly prominent in 2012 and 2013, copying malicious software to legitimate sites, which then found its way into users' computers. It also created links in spam emails that linked to sites created specifically to infect PCs.

As a result, computers could be infected by viruses like data-stealing trojans and key loggers that track what is being typed. Fraser Howard, a researcher at the anti-virus company Sophos, told the BBC that these kits have since been usurped by others from different hackers, like Sweet Orange and Neutrino. The kits made by Paunch dropped from causing 28 per cent of infections dealt with by Sophos in August 2012 to only four per cent in the same month this year.

What this means for companies concerned about their data protection is that the arrest of Paunch – if indeed the authorities have got the right man – does not mean the end of the threat by any means. There will still be many other hackers out there, so backing up data remotely from the infrastructure that may come under cyber attack remains an important step firms should take. Instances of large-scale attacks by hackers have been going on for many years, with previous examples including the Melissa Virus, which was spread through emails in 1999 and the early 2000s.

Its creator, David Smith, was sentenced to 20 months in jail following his conviction in 2002.

Storetec News/Blogs."". Suspected ‘Black Hole’ Hacker Arrested. October 9, 2013. Storetec.

Suspected ‘Black Hole’ Hacker Arrested