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S'kiddies get into spyware for just $15

Russian site sells scumware starter pack

Website security in corporate America

A Russian website is selling a DIY spyware kit, called WebAttacker, for around $15 a throw. The site, which proudly boasts of its creator's credentials in the scumware industry, also offer technical supporter to potential buyers.

The kits come in a script kiddie friendly form with code designed to make the task of infecting computers a breeze. All the buyers need do is send spam messages inviting potential marks to visit a compromised website.

Spam samples trapped by internet security firm Sophos use newsworthy topics to lure unwary users. One presents itself as a warning about the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, providing links to the bogus website, purporting to offer health advice. Another plays on claims that Slobodan Milosevic was murdered.

Surfers visiting these websites will find themselves exposed to JavaScript code that attempts to take advantage of known web browser and Windows vulnerabilities to download malware. The exploit downloads a program that attempts to turn off the firewall and install malware, generally a password stealer, keylogger or a banking Trojan.

"This type of behaviour is inviting the return of script-kiddies," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "By simplifying the task of the potential hacker for a mere tenner, sites like this one will attract opportunists who aren't necessarily very skilled and turn them into cyber-criminals." ®

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