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Malware Markets Now Run like Supermarkets!

The worldwide market dealing in criminal malware now provides volume discounts and special offers making it similar to a supermarket, according to a security company.

The last quarterly report of Panda Software reveals that the current price for a generic Trojan having sophisticated features ranges between #175 (US$ 350) and #350 and the list of e-mail addresses to target preys for using the program rates at #50 per million address. The malware authors offer specials too, such as a discovery by the company showed in a site that was selling a Trojan with a payment privilege of #200 to 100 customers who sign up first enabling them a #50 saving off the standard price.

Panda Software hesitated to provide further details of sites, which offer such cuts. However, it cited Russia as the country with weak anti-malware legislation thus making it a key area to locate the IT malware industry.

The recent months have seen digital crime becoming increasingly professional, said Luis Corrons, Chief of PandaLabs. PC World reported this on October 10, 2007. Cyber crooks have started to make profits out of their malicious activities rather than perform them for the sake of notoriety. From there, they are now building a widespread malware market on the Internet, developing new business models and creating specialized segments, Corrons said.

The report has data that the ActiveScan anti-virus system of Panda Software compiled to show that trojans top the list of most active malware in September 2007 leaving behind bots and worms.

During 2006, cyber crooks' primary motivation was financial gains. As a result, there was a burst in the sales of malicious codes. It had become easy to buy a wide variety of malicious programs ranging from kits that would create phishing sites to exploit codes for vulnerabilities. This led to the growth and prosperity of malware.

In fact, the sale of malware in recent years, customized to meet cyber criminals' demands, has become a coveted business, according to PandaLabs. Also, the financial motivation of cyber criminals has led to the proliferation of this kind of scam over a short period of time.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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