Posts Tagged: Underground Economy


‘Hacking for hire’ teams occupy multiple underground market segments, monetize their malicious ‘know how’

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In a series of blog posts published throughout 2012, we’ve been highlighting the existence of a vibrant underground market segment, namely, that of ‘hacking for hire’ services, email hacking in particular. Commercially available as a service for years, the practice’s growth was once largely fueled by the release of DIY Web-based popular email provider hacking tools, which once acquired by prospective cybercriminals, quickly became the foundation for a successful business model. How have things changed nowadays, in terms of tactics, techniques and procedures? Profoundly. Case in point, we’ve been tracking two such ‘hacking for hire’ services, both of which offer […]

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Newly launched managed ‘compromised/hacked accounts E-shop hosting as service’ standardizes the monetization process

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Regular readers of Webroot’s Threat Blog are familiar with our “A Peek Inside a Boutique Cybercrime-Friendly E-shop” series, originally started in 2012, highlighting the trend emerging at the time of boutique based E-shops selling access to compromised/hacked accounts. Popping up on our radars on systematic basis, this maturing market segment is already entering in a new life cycle stage in early 2014. The current stage is the direct result of the ongoing efficiency-oriented mentality applied by cybercriminals over the years in the face of the active implementation of tactics such as, for instance, templatization, ultimately leading to standardization of key […]

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Newly launched underground market service harvests mobile phone numbers on demand

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In May of 2012, we highlighted the increasing public availability of managed SMS spam services that can send hundreds of thousands of SMS messages across multiple verticals. These services are assisted through the use of proprietary or publicly obtainable phone number harvesting and verifying DIY applications. In this post, I’ll profile one of the most recently advertised managed mobile phone number harvesting service which allows full customization of the harvesting criteria based on the specific requirements of the customer. More details:

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New boutique iFrame crypting service spotted in the wild

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In a series of blog posts shedding more light into the emergence of the boutique cybercrime ‘enterprise’, we’ve been profiling underground market propositions that continue populating the cybercrime ecosystem on a daily basis, but fail to result in any widespread damage or introduce potential ecosystem disrupting features. Despite these observations, the novice cybercriminals behind them continue earning revenue from fellow cybercriminals, continue generating and maintaining their botnets, and, just like small businesses in a legitimate economy model, continue to collectively occupy a significant market share within the cybercrime ecosystem. In this post, I’ll profile a self-service type of boutique iFrame […]

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What’s the underground market’s going rate for a thousand U.S based malware infected hosts?

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Imagine you’re a cybercriminal that has somehow managed to infect a 1000 U.S based hosts and is looking for ways to monetize his malicious activity? He could easily start spreading spam or phishing emails, use the infected hosts as a platform for disseminating related malware attacks, or basically data mine the infected hosts for accounting data to be later on sold to fellow cybercriminals. What if all he wanted to do is earn as much profit in the shortest possible amount of time without investing more efforts into the monetization of the infected hosts? Is the cybercrime ecosystem mature enough […]

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