Feeds

Psst - wanna buy a pirate MPack toolkit?

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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 smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.