By Elinor Mills
June 17, 2009
Researchers at security firm Finjan said on Wednesday that they have
uncovered an underground botnet-leasing network where cyber criminals
can pay $5 to $100 to install malware on 1,000 PCs for things like
stealing data and sending spam.
The Golden Cash network, dubbed "Your money-making machine" on its home
page, sells access to botnets comprised of thousands of compromised PCs
to cyber criminals for custom malware spreading jobs, according to issue
2 of the Cybercrime Intelligence Report for 2009.
Here's how it works: a cyber criminal creates a botnet by hiding
malicious code in a legitimate Web site that is used to turn Web surfing
PCs into zombies. The code, typically an iFrame, points the PCs to a
separate Web site where they are then infected with a Trojan backdoor
that reports back to the Golden Cash command and control server.
In order to increase the number of botnets, the Golden Cash server
installs an FTP (file transfer protocol) grabber on new zombies to steal
credentials used by the computers to run Web sites, giving the server
control over additional legitimate Web sites. Approximately 100,000
domains, including corporate domains from around the world, were
identified among the stolen FTP credentials under Golden Cash's control,
according to the report.
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