Feeds

Psst - wanna buy a pirate MPack toolkit?

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The adage about no honour among thieves also applies to hackers, it would seem. Pirates are flogging knocked-off copies of the MPack hacker toolkit at a discount of up to 85 per cent, according to anti-virus experts at net security firm Symantec.

MPack is a web browser exploit toolkit, sold online by its original authors to hackers at prices ranging from $500 to $1,000. The application is offered with modular extras, maintenance updates and what amounts to support contracts that in many ways rival or surpass those offered by legitimate software suppliers.

Thousands of websites (mainly in Italy) were recently compromised using the MPack malware kit in order to add iframe tags that pointed surfers towards hacker-controlled websites.

The toolkit is written in a script language, sand considering a lucrative business model has evolved around the package it comes as no great surprise that it has become the target of piracy. The package is "easy to redistribute and modify," notes Symantec anti-virus researcher Eric Chien.

Ripped off copies of the toolkit are being sold online for as low as $150, an 85 per cent discount. It's likely that hackers didn't even need to buy the package in order to start-up their illicit business, according to Chien, who reckons its more likely they downloaded the whole kit for free from one of several websites hosting the malware kit.

"With the toolkit available to almost anyone for a mere $150, its usage is likely to grow. In addition, without a single author controlling the distribution of the toolkit, we also expect to see forks of the source code with additional exploits, bug fixes, and other feature enhancements," he writes. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.