Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/28/2010
09:44 AM
50%
50%

Pssst...Want To Rent A Botnet?

Sellers are freely hawking their wares via online forums and banner advertising, according to iDefense VeriSign’s security intelligence service

Have you got $67 burning a hole in your pocket? Then you can rent a botnet for 24 hours to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, sell fake antivirus software and relay spam to unsuspecting email users via millions of compromised -- aka zombie -- PCs. Or if you only need an hour, that’s just $9.

Those findings come from iDefense VeriSign’s security intelligence service, which studied 25 black market botnet offerings. Based on the company’s research, botnets are becoming increasingly commoditized, with sellers freely hawking their wares via online forums and banner advertising.

“Organizations need to be wary of the fact that their critical online applications or services could be taken down in under a day by a criminal renting services from bot herders,” said Rick Howard, director of intelligence at iDefense, in a statement.

Unfortunately, the easy access to botnets, as well as the emergence of more automated botnet software, has lowered the botnet barrier to entry for less technologically inclined or well-connected criminals.

In March, for example, Spanish police arrested the three alleged masterminds behind the Marisposa botnet, which ran undetected for six months, compromising more than 12 million PCs, many at blue-chip firms and banks.

“Our preliminary analysis indicates that the botmasters did not have advanced hacking skills,” Pedro Bustamante, senior research adviser with Panda Security, told the Guardian. “This is very alarming because it proves how sophisticated and effective malware distribution software has become, empowering relatively unskilled cyber criminals to inflict major damage and financial loss.”

Mariposa may now be defect, but one of the most well-known botnet tools, Zeus, is still alive and well. According to a recent report from managed security services provider SecureWorks, “Zeus is sold in the criminal underground as a kit for around $3,000-4,000, and is likely the one malware most utilized by criminals specializing in financial fraud.”

Customize Zeus with numerous add-ons: virtual networking to take over an infected PC ($10,000), an upgrade for attacking Windows 7 or Vista ($2,000), Jabber IM broadcasting to receive stolen data in real time ($500), a Firefox form grabber ($2,000) and a back-connect module for making financial transactions from an infected PC ($1,500). Interestingly, the Zeus application also includes sophisticated anti-piracy features.

If the going rate for renting a botnet or buying the right software seems steep, antivirus vendor Sunbelt recently said that it’s been tracking a Twitter-controlled botnet that can be used to launch DDoS attacks. Dubbed TwitterNET Builder, the tool -- available at no charge -- lets an attacker simply enter a Twitter username and hit “build” to generate the required malware.

Thankfully, the tool’s reliance on public Twitter commands for control means that attackers get what they pay for. “We’ve notified Twitter about this bot creation system, and they’re looking into it,” said Boyd. In other words, don’t try this at home.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-12777
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A function in Combodo iTop contains a vulnerability of Broken Access Control, which allows unauthorized attacker to inject command and disclose system information.
CVE-2020-12778
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop does not validate inputted parameters, attackers can inject malicious commands and launch XSS attack.
CVE-2020-12779
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a stored Cross-site Scripting vulnerability, which can be attacked by uploading file with malicious script.
CVE-2020-12780
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A security misconfiguration exists in Combodo iTop, which can expose sensitive information.
CVE-2020-12781
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Combodo iTop contains a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability, attackers can execute specific commands via malicious site request forgery.