Russian authorities arrested the Phoenix Exploit Kit author. A young man, using the nickname AlexUdakov on several forums, is accused of spreading malware and illegal possession of firearms.
Phoenix Exploit Kit is an instrument used to automate the exploitation of vulnerabilities in outdated and insecure versions of browser plugins like Java, and Adobe Flash and Reader. The exploit kit targets only Windows users.
Brian Krebs notes that AlexUdakov was a member Darkode.com - an underground forum for cybercriminals. It turned out that recently the forum administrator accounts have been compromised and the attackers gained access to the personal communications of the administrators. In addition, they were also able to view the profiles of Darkode members and get their email addresses.
AlexUdakov’s account on Darkode contained email address email@example.com, which was also tied to VKontakte.ru profile for one Andrey Alexandrov, a 23-year-old male (born May 20, 1989) from Yoshkar-Ola.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org was also tied to the accounts on Russian forums that were used for firearms discussions.
Krebs spotted Phoenix Exploit Kit at exploit.in, a semi-exclusive underground forum. The malware was sold on this site till July 2012. Later AlexUdakov did not get in touch with potential buyers.
Fraudster began posting again in February 2013 and explained his temporary absence was due to his arrest by officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on suspicion of malware distribution and illegal possession of firearms.
AlexUdakov claimed that after his arrest the police carried out searches at his residence and seized all computer equipment except for Wi-Fi router.
“have no criminal record and gave a confession, was released on my own recognizance. I am indicted on 3 charges – conspiracy to distribute malicious software (article 273 of Russian Penal Code), unlawful production of firearms, ammo an explosives (article 223), unlawful possession of weapons, ammo and explosives (article 222)…..”, said the suspect.
Krebs conducted his own investigation and figured out that AlexUdakov may be involved in the network Baka Software activity, whose members distributed fake antivirus programs in 2008-2009. AlexUdakov registered in the fraudulent network, using the e-mail address email@example.com.
KrebsТ trusted source who has the ability to look up tax records on Russian citizens and businesses stated that only one resident of Yoshkar-Ola matched the account Vkontakte.ru and e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org - Andrey Anatolevich Alexandrov, born May 20, 1989. The young man owns two cars: Lexus RS350 and VAZ-2109. Krebs notes that he cannot state that this man is the author of the Phoenix Exploit Kit, since there is no official confirmation of this information. In addition, the researcher has sent several letters to the above mentioned e-mail addresses, but no reply came.