Feeds

Need an army of killer zombies? Yours for just $25 per 1,000 PCs

Bring out your dead - there's a price per botnet head

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

As little as $25 will buy you access to a thousand malware-infected PCs, neatly packaged as a botnet army to control or spy on. That's according to a security researcher studying underground souks of zombie computers.

But the prices increase steeply for the more discerning crook who only wants to use compromised machines in America or Europe for nefarious purposes.

Whereas 1,000 PCs whose whereabouts aren't known cost 25 bucks, control over confirmed EU-located systems sells on one underground bazaar for $50, $225, and $400 for 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 compromised hosts, respectively.

Botnets with drones solely located in Canada, Germany and Great Britain cost $80 per 1,000. Prices for top-of-the-line US machines start at 1,000 zombies for $120. By contrast machines located nowhere specifically cost almost five times less.

The figures were put together Dancho Danchev of security biz Webroot from sales prices advertised on a newly established underground cybercrime forum. US machines are more expensive because their owners have greater online purchasing power than their counterparts elsewhere, Danchev explained in a blog post.

Payment for the botnets can be made with various forms of electronic currency including WebMoney, Liberty Reserve and bitcoins.

The e-shop is another example of how hackers have adopted tactics from legitimate businesses, in this case market segmentation, to increase sales. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Boffins build FREE SUPERCOMPUTER from free cloud server trials
Who cares about T&Cs when there's LIteCoin to mint?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.