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By Bobbie Johnson
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
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
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
"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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