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Crims take to Facebook to flog ZeuS kits

Dark networks meet social networks

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Not content with hawking their wares in underground forums and other insalubrious parts of the darknet, criminals are now advertising their wares on Facebook, says RSA.

The Facebook page in question is now unavailable, but appears to have been packed full of handy info for the budding cyber criminal, according to Limor Kessem, one of the Cyber Intelligence team at RSA Security.

As well as containing info on botnets, exploits, cyber crime and the group’s Zeus toolkit (Zeus v 1.2.10.1), the page also linked to a demo of the botnet control panel they built, she wrote.

An Indonesian-speaking malware developer appears to be behind the “Casper Spy Botnet”, although others could be involved.

“Marketing cyber crime in such an open and accessible manner is not something common. Cybercriminals usually fear for their freedom and will not expose their endeavors online to potential undercover cyber-police officers and security research,” wrote Kessem.

“Those who would take such a chance, in favor of selling their wares to a larger audience, do so because they trust the anti-digital crime laws in their counties are more forgiving or downright absent.”

Kessem also argued that the leaking of Zeus source code in 2011 had effectively democratised the means to build such toolkits, giving rise to marketing efforts such as this Facebook page.

“The cybercrime underground may have lost most of the access it had to the major commercial Trojans after Zeus, SpyEye, Ice IX and Citadel’s developers all decided to quit vending their malware freely, but it seems that FaaS [Fraud as a Service] is definitely keeping things alive in the crime world,” she said.

“With affordable kits and readily available developers selling it, even an old Trojan like Zeus v1 can do the job, enticing would-be criminals to try their hand at harvesting bank credentials and online financial fraud scenarios.”

Indonesia itself takes a pretty dim view of cyber crime, as witnessed by the possible 12-year jail term facing a hacker who defaced the president's web site. There's no evidence to confirm whether the malware writer behind Casper is currently based there, however. ®

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