The list of monetization tactics a cybercriminal can take advantage of, once they manage to hijack a huge portion of Web traffic, is virtually limitless and is entirely based on his experience within the cybercrime ecosystem.
In this post, I’ll profile two cybercrime-friendly iFrame traffic exchanges, with the second ‘vertically integrating’ by also offering spamming services, as well as services violating YouTube’s ToS (Terms of Service) such as likes, comments, views, favorites and subscribers on demand, with an emphasis on the most common ways through which a potential cybercriminal can abuse any such traffic exchange network.
We continue to observe an increase in underground market propositions for spam-ready bulletproof SMTP servers, with the cybercriminals behind them trying to differentiate their unique value proposition (UVP) in an attempt to attract more customers.
Let’s profile the underground market propositions of what appears to be a novice cybercriminal offering such spam-ready SMTP servers and discuss their potential, as well as the re-emergence of bulletproof SMTP servers as a propagation method of choice.
Redirectors are a popular tactic used by cybercriminal on their way to trick Web filtering solutions. And just as we’ve seen in virtually ever segment of the underground marketplace, demand always meets supply.
A newly launched, DIY ‘redirectors’ generating service, aims to make it easier for cybercriminals to hide the true intentions of their campaign through the use of ‘bulletproof redirector domains’. Let’s take a peek inside the cybercriminal’s interface, list all the currently active redirectors, as well as the actual pseudo-randomly generated redirection URLs.
Operating in the open since 2009, a bulletproof hosting provider continues offering services for white, grey, and black projects, as they like to describe them, and has been directly contributing to the epidemic growth of cybercrime to the present day through its cybercriminal-friendly services.
From Traffic Distribution Systems (TDS), to doorways, pharmaceutical scams, spam domains and warez, the provider is also utilizing basic marketing concepts like, for instance, promotions through coupon codes in an attempt to attract more customers.
Among the most common misconceptions about the way a novice cybercriminal would approach his potential victims has to do with the practice of having him looking for a ‘seed’ population to infect, so that he can then use the initially infected users as platform to scale his campaign. In reality though, that used to be the case for cybercriminals, years ago, when managed cybercrime-as-a-service types of underground market propositions were just beginning to materialize.
In 2013, the only thing a novice cybercriminal wanting to gain access to thousands of PCs located in a specific country has to do is to make a modest investment in the (managed) process of obtaining it. Let’s take a peek at one of the most recently launched such services.
A currently ongoing malicious spam campaign is attempting to trick users into thinking that they’ve successfully received a legitimate ‘Gift Card’ worth $200. What’s particularly interesting about this campaign is that the cybercriminal(s) behind it are mixing the infection vectors by relying on both a malicious attachment and a link to the same malware found in the malicious emails. Users can become infected by either executing the attachment or by clicking on the client-side exploits serving link found in the emails.
British users, watch what you execute on your PCs!
An ongoing malicious spam campaign is impersonating U.K’s O2 mobile carrier, in an attempt to trick its customers into executing a fake ‘MMS message” attachment found in the emails. Once socially engineered users do so, their PCs automatically join the botnet operated by the cybercriminal/gang of cybercriminals whose activities we continue to monitor.