What Are The Economics Of The Malware Community?

Depending on how you live your life and your own personal philosophies, the fact that money is the great motivator for most things can be a good thing or, if done with evil intent, a bad thing.

Money being a motivating force is especially strong in the modern day malware community.

The malware community is pretty much a splintered off shoot of the old school hacker community.

What could be called black hat hackers, used to use the subverting of technology strictly out of interest and testing what the technology could do.

The new wave of criminal hackers, the malware creators, are mostly motivated by profit.

economies of malware

It is not hard to see why since it is so easy to do.

I will go over in the article how easily the money can be made.

Economies Of Malware

The main reason that malware creators are able to make such a big profit through their crimes is because the bandwidth is so cheap.

They are able to get cheap bandwidth by piggy backing off of normal consumers by the use of technology such as botnets.

A botnet is a group of computers that a hacker has root access to, that allows him to send out whatever data the he would like.

We will give an example of how a botnet is used in cyber crime, later in the article.

If you can send out 10,000 copies of a piece of corrupted code to unsuspecting users and you are able to get one hundred people to click on the link, then you have done well.

With the money that you bring in, you can negate the botnet cost by more than triple that amount.

Making that much money in a such a short amount of time can be very tempting to cyber criminals.

It allows them to get in and get out quickly without really getting their hands dirty.

Quick money in the criminal world is sort of a holy grail.

Fake Antivirus

There is an infection that has become very prevalent on users computers.

The malware in question is very profitable and is very easy to install.

It comes in the form of a fake antivirus.

This piece of malware makes the user think that there is something wrong with their computer and that they must pay an extra fee for the problem to go away.

This has been a very effective piece of malware that has fooled a lot of people.

The hackers that created the code are usually not the same group of individuals that deliver it to their victims.

It is usually delivered by a third party through the use of a botnet, as we talked about before.

Through this botnet they are able to send large amounts of spam and fake IM messages.

The third party has a financial incentive to get the code to the greatest amount of people that they can.

Each time a person installs that malware onto their system, the third party is paid up to $120.

The creators of the fake antivirus programs can afford to pay that much since they are making money, holding users computers hostage after the virus is installed.

This can add up to a lot of money very quickly.

Other malware may not pay as much or they may pay more, overall you can see why it is so profitable.

As long as the profit motivation is there, the amount  of spam and malware on the network will always rise.

Spamming people’s computers and putting malware on their systems can be very profitable and will always entice new criminals to get involved.

To put an end to cyber crime you are going to have to cut the motivation at the source.

Law enforcement will have to find a way to figure out how they can cut the funding to the criminals.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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