Russia releases jailed payment exec to help build new national payment scheme

Co-founder of Russian based payment scheme ChronoPay, Pavel Vrublevsky, who was accused of organizing a cyberattack last year, was released

Co-founder of Russian based payment scheme ChronoPay, Pavel Vrublevsky, who was accused of organizing a cyberattack last year, was released from prison earlier than intended to help build the country’s new national payment system.

Vrublevsky was found guilty after being found as the source of a cyberattck on ChronoPay’s primary competitor Assist.  According to a blog post on KrebsonSecurity, Vrublevsky allegedly hired the hackers that implanted the Festi spam botnet that attacked Assist’s system in 2010. The attack resulted in issues with payments and primarily causing airline Aeroflot unable to sell tickets for days, costing them millions of dollars in damages.

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“He was made an offer he could not refuse,” stated Russian reporter Irek Murtazin in a blog post.

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Vrublevsky’s early release is the result of an agreement to help build Russia’s upcoming national payment scheme, spawning from the results of the crisis in the Ukraine to which Visa and MasterCard froze transactions due to US sanctions. While the Russian government has come to an agreement with the card firms, they also turned to China UnionPay to implement a standalone system to which the US government cannot control.

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