Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Diverse Portfolio of Fake Security Software - Part Twenty

Has the cloudy economic climate hit the scareware business model, the single most efficient and high-liquidity monetization practice that's driving the majority of blackhat SEO and malware attacks? The affiliate networks are either experiencing a slow Q2, or are basically experimenting with profit optimization strategies.

Following the "aggressive" piece of scareware with elements of ransomware discovered in March, a new version of the rogue security software is once again holding an infected system's assets hostage until a license is purchased.

This tactic is however a great example of the dynamics of underground ecosystem (The Dynamics of the Malware Industry - Proprietary Malware Tools; The Underground Economy's Supply of Goods; 76Service - Cybercrime as a Service Going Mainstream; Zeus Crimeware as a Service Going Mainstream; Will Code Malware for Financial Incentives; The Cost of Anonymizing a Cybercriminal's Internet Activities - Part Two; Using Market Forces to Disrupt Botnets; E-crime and Socioeconomic Factors; Price Discrimination in the Market for Stolen Credit Cards; Are Stolen Credit Card Details Getting Cheaper?).

Despite the fact that it's the network of cybercriminals that pays and motivates other cybercriminals to SQL inject legitimate sites, send spam, embedd malicious code through compromised accounts and launch blackhat SEO campaigns, it cannot exist without the traffic that they provide, and is therefore competing with other affiliate networks for it.

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Kudos to TeMerc for the heads up!

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