February 27, 2012 By Dancho Danchev

How cybercriminals monetize malware-infected hosts

The vibrant cybercrime underground ecosystem offers countless ways to monetize the malware-infected hosts at the disposal of the malicious attacker.

From converting them to anonymization proxies assisting cybercriminals in covering their Web activities, to launching DDoS attacks, and using them to disseminate spam and more malicious threats, cybercriminals have a vast arsenal of monetization tactics in their arsenal.

In this post we’ll profile a recently advertised service offering thousands of Facebook “Likes”, Twitter followers, and YouTube views, all for the modest price of a couple of hundred rubles, entirely relying on malware-infected hosts for supporting their infrastructure.

Basically, the service is abusing the trusted reputation of malware-infected Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users for the purpose of superficially increasing the popularity of a particular item located within these sites/social networking platforms.

Every malware-infected user counts as a separate “Like”, Twitter follower, or video viewer at YouTube, all of them unknowingly participating in these illegal marketing campaigns.

And what about the prices? The prices vary based on the number of requested marketing operations to be performed on behalf of the malware-infected hosts participating in the campaign, also known as bots.

Sample prices for Facebook marketing campaigns:

Facebook Likes (I like) boots
1000 Likes Facebook – 300 rubles
Facebook Likes (I like it) Russian
1000 Likes Facebook – 3,000 rubles
Facebook Likes (I like) all over the world
in 1000 Likes Facebook – 2,500 rubles
Facebook Likes (I like), RF
1000 Likes Facebook – 7000

Sample prices for YouTube marketing campaigns:

Views: All views 100% live
action: 100 000 hits – only 25 000 rub
1000 views – 400rub (speed of 50 000 – 100 000 hits a day .)
views at 1000 hits per day – 1,500 rubles for 5000
Cheat Rating (Likes)
100 Likes – 300 rubles
Favorites Subscribers:
100 – 300 rub
Your video on the home page of YouTube (Once on the main Youtube.Com your movie will surely be seen !)
Price is negotiated personally with me. Ready to offer an adequate price.

Sample prices for Twitter marketing campaigns:

2,500 followers – 700 rubles (1 day)
5000 followers – 1400 rubles ( 2-3 days)
10 000 followers – 2600 rubles (4-5 days)
25 000 followers – £ 5500 (9-12 days )
50 000 followers – 10 000 rubles (17-25 days)

Webroot’s security researchers will continue monitoring the service and its future development.

You can find more about Dancho Danchev at his LinkedIn Profile. You can also follow him on  Twitter.

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