back to article Dissected: A dropper-as-a-service miscreants pay to push their malware onto potentially 1,000s of victims

A dropper-as-a-service, which cyber-crime newbies can use to easily get their malware onto thousands of victims' PCs, has been dissected and documented this week. A dropper is a program that, when run, executes a payload of malicious code. The dropper is similar to a trojan, and it can sometimes have other functionality, but …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Situation normal ...

    only infects PCs that run MS Windows

  2. redpawn

    You'd think

    the lesson would have been learned long ago that cracked programs aren't free, which isn't to say that there are not good free programs or even free legit AV available. Free porn viewer program anyone?

    1. AndrewB57

      Re: You'd think

      The social engineering here is to exploit people's greed, of which there is plenty evident.

      1. Clausewitz 4.0

        Re: You'd think

        Some would say "exploit people's greed", others would say "cooperate in a mutual advantage way".

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Free porn viewer program anyone?

      Well there's a browser and YouPorn.

      Or so I've been told . . .

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    One would think that corporations leaving Windows open for burglars to hop through, would push for wider Linux adoption and pressure software companies to release versions of their products for that family of operating systems.

    But no one seems to care. Interesting times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux

      If you can lure a Linux user to run a dropper with sufficient privileges Linux won't save you - nor macOS.

      Now tt's easier to look for Windows users trying to find warez because Linux user don't want or can't find commercial applications needing some kind of licenses to be run.

      Once you port them under Linux, you'll get also Linux users looking for cracked applications. And you can drop easily malware to them too....

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        It will be interesting to put your theory to the test.

        Obviously, I subscribe to the idea that Linux is generally "safe" because not many people use it on the desktop. That said, malware can be had on Linux, it's just that Windows is a far more juicy target.

        Even so, the fact that most, if not all, Linux users do not work with an admin account, something that is virtually impossible to do on Windows without an IT department to manage things, means that even on Linux, malware will be rather limited in its effects.

        But hey, when the day of the Linux desktop has arrived, we'll see what the scum manage to do.

        Because one thing is certain : they will give it a go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Even with Linux to install stuff you may need to use sudo and run the package installers as root. Because they may need to write to locations or modify files a plain user can't.

          But even software installed without admin privileges can try to elevate its privileges later if there are vulnerabilities or if in some ways it can intercept credentials.

          Linux is safer now because most applications are installed by trusted sources. If people are lured to add a warez repository to their sources list - good luck...

          The compromised installer is one of the best way to deliver malware - you don't even need to try to exploit vulnerabilities, you mostly need just to evade AV detection. Then you run with enough privileges to create havoc easily.

          Anyway, it's quite simple to run Windows as a non-admin without an IT department behind you - you'll just need to use the "Run as Administrator" command more frequently - just like you often need to use sudo in Linux to perform some tasks.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          "Even so, the fact that most, if not all, Linux users do not work with an admin account, something that is virtually impossible to do on Windows without an IT department to manage things"

          Really, this no harder on Windows than on Linux, and hasn't been for many, many years.

          The big problem is that 99% of the population do not understand the need for having separate accounts for normal and admin use. If there was *one thing* worth teaching the nation's schoolchildren about IT then this is probably it.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Of course, the fact that your mobile phone doesn't even support the notion probably isn't helping.

            "It's OK kids, Uncle Google and Aunty Apple use MAGIC to keep you safe on the internet, so you don't have to worry/learn."

          2. alain williams Silver badge

            School kid IT education

            If there was *one thing* worth teaching the nation's schoolchildren about IT then this is probably it.

            For that to happen you would need school IT teachers that had some real clue.

    2. Clausewitz 4.0

      Re: Linux

      I heard some companies already have Linux versions of their software for some models, and they just need to be deployed in the field.

    3. David Pearce

      Re: Linux

      Android TV boxes running Kodi on a Linux distribution are a popular target for "watch sports channels for free" malware

  4. FlamingDeath Silver badge


    “I Like Money” -Frito

  5. hoola Silver badge

    Software Cracks

    Whilst I can see this is a pain and in an ideal world, would not happen one cannot help be think this is self-inflicted.

    So you have a pieces of commercial software that needs a license to work.

    Go and trawl dodgy sites to find keys to crack tools to make it work.

    Dodgy site provides link to malware that the user happily downloads and runs.

    Users PC now full of crap.

    Now AV might be able to detect it or possibly block the download but this really does reach the point that you cannot protect some people from themselves.

    Like driving with no insurance, mostly people get away with it but sometimes a random check or minor incident gets them totally shafted.

    Maybe they have AV installed but there is a strong possibility that it is some sort of basic free edition, not even Windows Defender because they don't trust it. If you are running cracked software then as long as you don't cause issues for others that is fine. Just don't complain when your computer ends up useless.

    I was embroiled with a friend of a friend who did this regularly and kept wanting his PC fixed. In the end I resorted to charging ever-increasing amounts in the hope he would go away. Unfortunately his "Fix My Computer" pocket was deeper than I expected.

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