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Bargain-basement botnet kit – yours for just €5

German hacker serves up the 'people's bot'

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Bargain-basement cybercrooks have begun selling a cut-price botnet tool on underground forums for just €10 or less a pop.

The so-called Aldi Bot is a functional botnet builder that requires minimal configuration beyond entering the name of a command-and-control server, which comes with the tool. The malware – which was possibly named for the discount supermarket, although of course it has no connection to the German chain – is capable of extracting saved passwords from the browser cache of compromised machines.

Aldi Bot, whose code appears based on the recently leaked ZeuS source code, is also capable of running distributed denial of service attacks on targeted websites, according to an analysis of the tool by anti-virus firm G Data. Compromised machines might also be used as a proxy for anonymous surfing. As such the tool might be employed by perverts hunting for child abuse images on the net.

Getting the malware onto machines would require setting up booby-trapped websites or similar trickery, such as distributing emails with infectious attachments. Most antivirus tools already detect Aldi Bot, which first appeared on underground forums late last month. The basic package does include instant messaging support. Shortly after launching the sale the author of the bot dropped his prices even further from €10 to €5. By comparison, licences for the admittedly far more sophisticated and functional ZeuS variants used to set you back thousands of dollars.

The seller punting the tool explains its low, low prices by saying he's not in it for the money, adding that he wants to offer a "people's bot" to the masses. Acceptable payment methods include Paysafecard and Ukash.

A video posted by the author shows attacks on a website maintained by the German police. These and other factors suggest that the seller may be a German hacker who wants virus distribution to retail at little more than the cost of a pint of beer.

More details on the malware can be found in a write-up by G Data here. ®

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