Novice computer hacking kits found for sale on eBay

Novice computer hacking kits found for sale on eBay
Novice computer hacking kits found for sale on eBay

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By Bobbie Johnson
technology correspondent 
The Guardian
September 21, 2007

Kits that claim to help people hack into computers have been discovered 
for sale on the auction website eBay.

Security experts found a selection of CDs, DVDs and programs for sale on 
eBay that promise to help buyers learn how to break into computers over 
the net.

One CD - claiming to be on sale "for educational use only" - promises 
details of how to access other people's computers and contains a 
selection of programs commonly used for hacking. It is available through 
the site for =C2=A35.99.

Many of the programs form the basic building blocks for computer crime, 
allowing even inexperienced hackers to find ways to get inside their 
victims' computers, or of masking their identities.

Although such tools are often downloaded for free or sold on the black 
market, such trade usually happens in remote corners of the internet.

"This is a serious development," said Geoff Sweeney of the security 
company Tier-3, which spotted the auctions. "It basically puts high 
level hacking tools ... into the hands of almost any internet user."

Programs for sale include "email bombers" - used to send thousands of 
spam messages, often containing viruses - and software that can be used 
to crack open protected files and passwords.

Since amendments to the Computer Misuse Act last year, it is illegal to 
supply software and tools with the knowledge that they will be used to 
commit crimes.

But the tool kits are usually sold with a disclaimer, or claim to be 
provided for use in so-called "ethical hacking" - where legitimate 
security researchers test to find potential weak spots.

In a statement, eBay said it was working to prevent illegal sales from 
taking place.

"We have very strict and detailed rules permitting only lawful and 
legitimate sales on the site, and a huge amount is done to ensure that 
these are upheld."

It is not the first time concerns have been raised over the availability 
of hacking tool kits on the site. This month another batch of programs 
used for computer hacking was spotted on eBay, including one program, 
created by Russian hackers, that enables even inexperienced internet 
surfers to perform a huge number of hacking tasks

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