Operational Security (OPSEC) has always been an inseparable part of the cybercrime ecosystem, especially in the context of preventing law enforcement agencies from tracking down the activities of fraudulent and malicious adversaries online. Throughout the years, the industry has witnessed active utilization of malware-infected hosts (Socks4/Socks5) as anonymization ‘stepping stones’ and the use of cybercrime-friendly VPN providers, bypassing internationally accepted data retention regulations, as some of the primary anonymization tactics used by cybercriminals. Nowadays, this set of tactics has evolved into a diversified mix of legitimate and purely malicious infrastructure that provides value-added services such as APIs supporting Socks4/Socks5 services, DIY real-time […]
Posts Tagged: Socks5
Since its inception in 1996, Alexa has positioned itself as primary Web metrics data portal, empowering Web masters, potential investors, and marketers with access to free analytics based on data gathered from toolbars installed on millions of PCs across the world. Successfully establishing itself as the most popular, publicly accessible Web site performance benchmarking tool, throughout the years, the Alexa PageRank has acted as a key indicator for the measurement of a Web site’s popularity, growth and overall performance, often used in presentations, competitive intelligence campaigns, and comparative reviews measuring the performance/popularity of particular Web sites. Operating in a world […]
It can be easily argued, that CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), is the modern day’s ‘guardian of the Web’, in the context of preventing the mass, systematic, and efficient abuse of virtually each and every Web property there is. Over the years, CAPTCHA developers continued to strike a balance between the actual usability and sophistication/resilience to attacks, while excluding the beneath the radar emergence of a trend, which would later on prove to successfully exploit a fundamental flaw in the very concept of the CAPTCHA process. Namely, the fact that, the very same humans […]
Next to the ubiquitous for the cybercrime ecosystem, traffic acquisition tactics such as, blackhat SEO (search engine optimization), malvertising, embedded/injected redirectors/doorways on legitimate Web sites, establishing purely malicious infrastructure, and social engineering driven spam campaigns, cybercriminals are also masters of utilizing social media for the purpose of attracting traffic to their fraudulent/malicious campaigns. From the efficient abuse of Craigslist, the systematic generation of rogue/bogus/fake Instagram, YouTube, and email accounts, the process of automatic account generation continues to take place, driving a cybercriminal’s fraudulent business model, naturally, setting up the foundations for upcoming malicious campaigns that could materialize at any point […]
We’ve recently spotted a multi-hop Russian cybercrime-friendly VPN service provider — ad featured not syndicated at a well known cybercrime-friendly community – that is relying on fake celebrity endorsement on its way to attract new customers, in this particular case, it’s pitching itself as being recommended by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. How have anonymization tactics evolved over the last couple of years? Have the bad guys been ‘innovating’ on their way to cover the malicious/fraudulent online activity orchestrated by them? Let’d discuss some of the current trends in this ever-green market segment within the cybercrime ecosystem.
Compromised, hacked hosts and PCs are a commodity in underground markets today. More cybercriminals are populating the market segment with services tailored to fellow cybercriminals looking for access to freshly compromised PCs to be later abused in a variety of fraudulent/malicious ways, all the while taking advantage of their clean IP reputation. Naturally, once the commoditization took place, cybercriminals quickly realized that the supply of such hosts also shaped several different market segments. They offered tools and services that specialize in the integration of this supply into various cybercrime-friendly tools and platforms, empowering virtually anyone using them with the desired degree […]
Based on historical evidence gathered during some of the major ‘opt-in botnet’ type of crowdsourced DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack campaigns that took place over the last couple of years, the distribution of point’n’click DIY DoS (denial of service attack) tools continues representing a major driving force behind the success of these campaigns. A newly released DIY DoS tool aims to empower technically unsophisticated users with the necessary expertise to launch DDoS attacks by simultaneously utilizing an unlimited number of publicly/commercially obtainable Socks4/Socks5/HTTP-based malware-infected hosts, most commonly known as proxies.
The general availability of DIY malware generating tools continues to contribute to the growth of the ‘malware-infected hosts as anonymization stepping stones‘ Socks4/Socks5/HTTP type of services, with new market entrants entering this largely commoditized market segment on a daily basis. Thanks to the virtually non-attributable campaigns that could be launched through the use of malware-infected hosts, the cybercrime underground continues to seek innovative and efficient ways to integrate the inventories of these services within the market leading fraudulent/malicious campaigns managing/launching tools and platforms. Let’s take a peek at one of the most recently launched services offering automatic access to hundreds of […]
Malware-infected hosts with clean IP reputation have always been a desirable underground market item. On the majority of occasions, they will either be abused as distribution/infection vector, used as cash cows, or as ‘stepping stones’, risk-forwarding the responsibility, and distorting the attribution process, as well as adding an additional OPSEC (Operational Security) layer to the campaign of the malicious attacker. A newly launched ‘malware-infected hosts as stepping stones’ service, is offering access to Socks5-enabled malware hosts, located primarily in the United States, allowing virtually anyone to route their fraudulent/malicious traffic through these hosts. More details:
By Dancho Danchev On the majority of occasions, cybercriminals will take basic OPSEC (Operational Security) precautions when using the Internet, in an attempt to make it harder for law enforcement to keep track of their fraudulent activities. Over the years, these techniques have greatly evolved to include hybrid online anonymity solutions offered exclusively to cybercriminals internationally. In this post, I’ll profile a cybercrime-friendly service that’s been offering hacked PCs to be converted into “anonymization stepping-stones” since 2004. More details: