Paunch is a malware kingpin who is the alleged author of Blackhole and Cool exploit kits. He was arrested by the Russian authorities last October 2013. Russian security and forensics firm Group-IB, which assisted in the investigation, released additional details, including several pictures of Paunch. According to Group-IB, Paunch had more than 1,000 customers and was earning $50,000 per month from his illegal activity.


He also created Crypt.Am, an anonymous antivirus stimulator which provided services for protection of malware against detection by AV programs.

He contracted with a third-party exploit broker who announced that he had a $100,000 budget for buying new, previously undocumented “zero-day” vulnerabilities.