Hacker heroin frame plot suspect arrested
- 26 June 2014
- From the section Technology
A Ukrainian man believed to have tried to frame a net security expert for dealing heroin has been arrested in Italy.
Sergei Vovnenko, known as Fly, was arrested in Naples for suspected trafficking in stolen credit cards.
Mr Vovnenko is also thought to have been behind the plot to send heroin to prominent blogger Brian Krebs in 2013.
The plan was foiled because Mr Krebs was surreptitiously monitoring the website where the plot was hatched.
Writing on his blog Mr Krebs said Mr Vovnenko was arrested thanks to a joint US and Italian investigation into his activities. When arrested Mr Vovnenko was travelling under an assumed name - Sergei Volneov.
Mr Vovnenko is being held in an Italian jail and is likely to face extradition to the US, wrote Mr Krebs.
He was tracked down largely thanks to several mistakes he made when trying to conceal his identity online, said Mr Krebs. These led security researchers and law enforcement to email accounts and social media profiles run by Mr Vovnenko that helped them home in on him.
"This case is another reminder that nobody is anonymous, and that operational security is hard to do well consistently," wrote Mr Krebs.
He believes he was targeted by Mr Vovnenko and others because of his work to expose people who trade in stolen credit cards and identities.
As well as having heroin sent to him, in March 2013, Mr Krebs was "swatted". This involved a 911 call spoofed to look like it came from Mr Krebs' house where, supposedly, hostages were being held.
An armed response unit investigated and this led to Mr Krebs being handcuffed and questioned before he could convince the police nothing was happening.