The Russian underground market is a place of interest for cybercriminals from all over the world. This is where anyone with a malicious cyber agenda can purchase exploit kits, web hosting, VPN services, and even custom-built malware.
In a 29-page paper
entitled “Russian Underground 101,” Trend Micro experts detail everything there is to know about the “products” available on these shady markets.
The study covers services such as crypting, dedicated servers, proxies, VPN, pay-per install, programming, distributed denial-of-service (DDOS), spamming, botnets, security software checks, Trojans, Rootkits, social engineering, hacking, SMS fraud, exploits, traffic, and blackhat SEO.
For instance, the report reveals that for VPN services, cybercriminals must pay between $190 (140 EUR) and $240 (190 EUR) per year.
The prices of pay-per-install services vary depending on the targeted country. Those who want to distribute their malware to 1,000 users from Russia have to pay $100 (80 EUR).
On the other hand, the price is ten times lower if the malware can be distributed anywhere in the world. Australia appears to be the most “expensive” target, the costs for such services being as high as $500 (390 EUR) for 1,000 downloads.
As far as spam services are concerned, a Skype SMS spamming tool costs $40 (32 EUR). For a cheap spam campaign that involves 1,000,000 emails, the customer pays a mere $10 (8 EUR), the more expensive services, which rely on customer databases, being priced at $50-$500 (39 EUR-390 EUR) for 50,000 to 1,000,000 emails.
“As the Russian underground community continuously modifies targets and improves technologies, security companies and users must constantly face the challenge of effectively protecting their money and the information they store in their computers and other devices,” Maxim Goncharov, Trend Micro senior threat researcher and author of the paper, wrote.
“The Russian shadow economy is an economy of scale, one that is service oriented and that has become a kleptocracy wherein crony capitalism has obtained a new lease on life in cyberspace.”