back to article Malware targeting cash machines fetches top dollar on dark web

The market for cyber criminal services on the dark web continues to thrive – demand for malware is running at around three times greater than the supply. Positive Technologies experts analysed over 10,000 hack-for-hire and malware-related postings on dark web markets. The researchers examined the costs of cybercrime services …

  1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Why wouldn't software that gets you free money - albeit illegally - be worth more than anything else?

    On the other hand, if it works, then why does it have a retail price at all? Why do the people who can get unlimited free money, want your money?

    Is that a rat I smell? Maybe!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On the other hand, if it works, then why does it have a retail price at all?

      Most malware has a shelf life, depending on how fast the defences evolve to counter it, so any bit of code isn't a perpetual money machine, and crims need to get the harvest in while they can. Even if it still works, the advanced crims will be developing new versions, so selling a superseded version that the original "IP owner" is money for old rope from their point of view.

      Also, ensuring there's a lot more low rent black hats and crims dilutes the ability of the plods to find the people at the top of the chain. Both because there's more crims, and because more of them will be unskilled dopes.

    2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      "Why do the people who can get unlimited free money, want your money?"

      another reason will be that there is less risk in selling the tools than using them.

      Also, I would not be surprised if the coders selling the scripts are embedding code to give them access to compromised machines.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan

      Why do the people who can get unlimited free money, want your money?

      Because it's lower risk than actually ripping off the ATM yourself.

      Other than that I fully agree - it's a bit like attending those "Make MILLIONS in just two hours" seminars. Often given by people in cheap suits and driving crappy cars. If they really knew how to make money, they wouldn't be making a pittance selling stuff to credulous morons..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least some people are getting a computing education

    The report added that even comprehensive hacking toolkits – giving rookies everything they need to start committing fraud – can be picked up for around £100.

    Probably more and better training and education being offered by the dark web than the "official" software world. And you probably get better vendor support on the dark web.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: At least some people are getting a computing education

      Probably all too true and very sad. Also, the price points are not so high that someone could buy the tools they need for for a campaign, which multiplies the number of possible actors.

  3. Miss Config
    Holmes

    Your Money Back. Guaranteed,.

    The dark web must have very strict rules about getting your money back in the event of a bought item not actually working.

    Despite the racing certainty that it WILL work, obviously.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: Your Money Back. Guaranteed,.

      The dark web must have very strict rules about getting your money back

      I suspect that "not wanting a quiet conversation in an alley with a big bloke with more muscles than morals" also comes into it.

    2. PyLETS

      Re: Your Money Back. Guaranteed,.

      It's considered safer for drug buyers and vendors to use the dark web to meet and transact than to meet in person. A vendor has a reputation to lose if the product doesn't arrive or do what's advertised. Then there's the avoidance of turf wars, which without availability of recourse to civil law, tends to involve debt collection and contract enforcement using violence or threats of such. These same considerations applying to illegal drugs will also apply to dark web malware and hacking services marketplaces. The possibility of anonymous payment using Bitcoin makes this all possible - to the extent significant inherent risks, hassles, costs and delays make using this system for criminal payments worthwhile. Money laundering using cash is also much more risky and for similar reasons.

      Clearly the purchaser needs to check the reputation of the vendor for reliability of delivery and quality of goods and services as with any online purchase.

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