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.
How would a cybercriminal differentiate his unique value proposition (UVP) in order to attract new customers wanting to purchase commoditized underground market items like, for instance, harvested and segmented email databases? He’d impress them with comprehensiveness and ‘vertically integrated’ products and services. At least that’s what the cybercriminals behind the cybercrime-friendly market proposition I’m about to profile in this post are doing.
Tens of millions of harvested and segmented email databases, spam-ready bulletproof SMTP servers and DIY spamming tools, this one-stop-shop for novice spammers is also a great example of an OPSEC-unaware vendor who’s not only accepting Western Union/Money Gray payments, but also, has actually included his SWIFT wire transfer bank account details.
In a series of blog posts, we’ve been highlighting the ease, automation, and sophistication of today’s customer-ized managed spam ‘solutions’, setting up the foundations for a successful fraudulent or purely malicious spam campaign, like the ones we intercept and protect against on a daily basis.
We’ve recently spotted a Russian one-stop-shop for spammers offering virtually everything a spammer can ‘vertically integrate’ into, in an attempt to occupy a bigger share of this underground market segment. Let’s take a peek at the service and discuss its unique value proposition (UVP).
In times when modern cybercriminals take advantage of the built-in SMTP engines in their malware platforms, as well as efficient and systematic abuse of Web-based email service providers for mass mailing fraudulent or malicious campaigns, others seem to be interested in the resurrection of an outdated, but still highly effective way to send spam, namely, through spam-friendly SMTP servers.
In this post, I’ll profile a recently posted underground market ad for spam-friendly SMTP servers, offered for sale for $30 on a monthly basis.
Utilizing basic site ‘stickiness’ and visitor retention practices, over the years, cybercrime-friendly communities have been vigorously competing to attract, satisfy, and retain their visitors. From exclusive services available only to community members, to DIY cybercrime-friendly tools, the practice is still a common way for the community administrators to boost the underground reputation of their forum.
However, there are certain communities that will use the underground reputation of their forum to boost their sales, by releasing private DIY cybercrime-friendly tools, and promoting them under the umbrella of the community brand.
In this post, I’ll profile a HTTP/SMTP-based keylogger that’s been commercially available to members of a cybercrime-friendly community since 2011.