Security & Fraud

Malware: The Next Big On-Demand Business

Everyone is getting into the business of selling things via the cloud — even cybercriminals.

And, according to a new report, creators of malicious software are now using the cloud to sell Malware-as-a-Service. What the report shows is that those cybercriminals are now making money off essentially renting out their malware software.

“The biggest cybercrime operations are essentially computer software and services companies, albeit illicit ones,” according to the 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report. This report suggests that, even on the Dark Web, there’s a thriving business for cybercriminals to sell off their talents — in the form of malware, of course.

And it’s turning into an on-demand business as legitimate-seeming as any traditional software business.

“Developers create tools that they sell or rent to customers through online black markets, complete with sales, money-back guarantees and reputation systems to provide customers with assurances that they won’t get ripped off,” the report stated.

Yes, that means, for those hacker-minded criminals who might not have their own means to malware, they can essentially rent it. This Malware-as-a-Service product that’s being pitched is sold via the cloud in order to keep other cybercriminals up to date. And, on the flip side, it’s become a business model for the hackers themselves.

As the report states: “In recent years, exploit kit authors have moved to cloud-based kits, mirroring the trend in the legitimate software industry — in essence, a criminal version of Software-as-a-Service. Today, most of the major kits use a rental-based business model, wherein customers pay for an account on a server under the kit authors’ control and manage their illicit ‘campaigns’ through an administrative interface.”

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