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How botnets grew into a global business


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#1 snemelk

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:05 PM

Link: BBC News - How botnets grew into a global business

Identity/data theft is not a fiction!!..

In October 2010, 90 people were arrested in the US for being money mules who siphoned off funds stolen via Zeus. The FBI estimates that the criminals running the mules had stolen about $70m.

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It can be safer to sell lists of credit card numbers online, especially if the expiry date, CVV codes and other identifiers are included. Prices per card have dropped because so many have been stolen. A card with credit on it and the identifying details can fetch about $90 (57). However, the vast majority of cards go for a few dollars each.

Bank account details are much more saleable and those with cash in them can fetch hundreds of dollars.

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One big moneymaker is spam. About 88% of the billions of junk mail messages sent every day are piped through botnets. Spammers will pay to have that email sent...

(...) Their research showed that spammers were paying $100-$500 for every million messages sent. Alternatively, spammers could pay a lump sum of $10,000 if they wanted to send millions of messages over a period of a month.

The return soon added up and the researchers estimated that Cutwail's controllers could have made up to $4.2m profit in a little over 12 months.


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