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Neosploit hack-by-numbers kit euthanized

Victim of its own success

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The distributors of Neosploit, one of the most noxious infection kits available on the internet, are retiring the product, citing support costs that didn't justify the expense.

Like MPack, Icepack and others, Neosploit was the hacking equivalent of a paint-by-numbers kit. Miscreants who didn't have the time or skills to fashion their own exploits could buy the kit and amass a sizable botnet in no time. The package was highly scalable, received regular improvements and even came with an online user forum where customers could seek help when they got stuck.

Not anymore.

According to this post from researchers at RSA FraudAction Research Labs, Neosploit is being put out to pasture. RSA cited a notice from the distributors that read:

Unfortunately, supporting our product is no longer possible. We apologize for any inconvenience, but business is business since the amount of time spent on this project does not justify itself.

We tried hard to satisfy our clients' needs during the last few months, but the support had to end at some point. We were 1.5 years with you and hope that this was a good time for your business.

Lest anyone start popping champagne corks or sing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," this isn't necessarily good news. For one thing, Neosploit faced stiff competition from the proliferation of competing kits, many of which sold for a fraction of the price, according to Thomas Holt, a professor of criminal justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who researches the malware black market.

What's more, the RSA researchers note that Neosploit may be a victim of its own success.

"It is likely that Neosploit was finding it difficult to sustain its new customer acquisition rate, and that its existing customers were not generating enough revenue to sustain the prior rate of development," they wrote. "These problems appear to have been too much of a burden, and we now believe that the Neosploit development team has been forced to abandon its product."

Anytime there's bang-up business there are sure to be repeats and knockoffs. So brace yourself: This isn't likely to be the last we've heard from these guys. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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