Beware the Russian Bear: He's a Hacker

Dennis Faas's picture

Tucked away behind that Iron Curtain, for a long time we didn't hear much from Eastern Europe. With the fall of the Soviet Union less than twenty years ago, travelers began to uncover more than just the area's brooding discontent. Unfortunately for the web's security companies Russia remains a bit wild; in fact, some might consider it a hacker haven.

That's certainly the impression after the discovery of a new website that uses an impressive botnet to infect vulnerable PCs -- on demand. Although the website itself hasn't been bookmarked for immediately filling a visitor's system with malware, security companies believe "" is almost certainly logging the IP addresses of visitors. (Source:

So, what is this mal-service?

According to researchers, a client can request a number of PC infections for a certain price. One example given was 1,000 infections for $200; enough to shut down work for a few days while IT administrators struggle to find what just hammered the system.

Like any other service, the company reportedly provides the client with a receipt detailing all of the IP addresses attacked. Other nasty tactics include the distribution of spam, phishing for bank information, and the stealing of log-in data.

The strategy as a whole is somewhat similar to that offered by other hackers involved in the Gozi Trojan and 76service. The latter allowed "clients" to pay for access to a specific "form-grabber" program that had already been installed on a machine. "" is different, since the service allows a buyer to select the type of malware they'd like to use from the get-go.

NOTE: ".cc" is the web domain for Australian territories of the Cocos and Keeling Islands.

Clearly, the use of capitalism in the hacker world could have extraordinary effects on the corporations and even home users. The botnet itself is available to just about anyone for a meagre 20 cents, laying the foundation for a worldwide spread of such registry junk. It could mean that the life and death of a PC is a constant duel between the malware goons and security software, which will have no choice but to update at a feverish pace. It doesn't help that similar Russian hacker groups are also attacking PDF files, making Adobe -- and not just Internet Explorer or email -- a battleground. (Source:

Seems we were wrong about those nukes. Russia's going to end the world without so much as a few key strokes.

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