Hackers' bounty directly proportional to sophistication

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on November 26, 2014

While innocent users look for best deals and think they are saving quite a bit shopping online, hackers' bounty could be incomparable to the deals.

According to figures compiled by Kaspersky Labs, cybercriminals could be making profits at least 20 times greater than the cost of their attacks.

(The research compared the cost of the most frequently used hacker tool with the money stolen in a successful malicious operation.)

"Buying malware is currently not a problem; it’s easy to find malware on various hacker forums, and they are relatively cheap. A cybercriminal following this illegal path needs no skills. They can get an off-the-peg package for a fixed price to launch the attacks. Users should therefore ensure that they protect their device, lest they lose their money and data,” says Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab.

For instance, the current cost to create a phishing page to mimic a popular social network and linking it to the fake site is $150. If users catch 100 people they can net up to $10,000 by selling sensitive data. The victims, in turn, lose their contacts, personal photos and messages.

A mobile Trojan blocker however is more expensive. It costs about $1,000 to buy and distribute the malware and the "payoff" is much higher. The prices that the attackers set for unblocking a smartphone vary from $10 to $200 which means that from 100 potential victims they can get up to $20, 000.

The same sum can be earned by using encrypting ransomware but the "initial investment" would be twice as high (about $2,000). Users’ losses would also be a lot more because the minimum sum of the ransom requested by the fraudsters for decrypting the data is usually $100.

To really hit the jackpot, fraudsters look for banking Trojans that target money directly. After spending about $3,000 on the malware, the exploit and a spam mailing to spread them around, cybercriminals could scoop up to $72,000. The average loss of an individual victim is $722.

Published on November 26, 2014

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like