Monday, November 10, 2008

Zeus Crimeware Kit Gets a Carding Layout

With cybercriminals clearly expressing their nostalgia for several notorious and already shut down credit card fraud communities, they seem to have found a way to once again give their self-esteem a boost. Following the ongoing modification of open source crimeware kits and the inevitable innovation introduced by third parties, last week a new layout was introduced for Zeus, once again courtesy of a group that's piggybacking on Zeus popularity.

It's particularly interesting to see how a one-man operation evolves into a group of third-party developers starting to claim ownership rights over the modified versions despite that they're basically brandjacking the Zeus brand and building business models on the top of it.

Open source crimeware and web malware exploitation kits on the other hand undermine the business model of a great number of "malware/spyware for hire" vendors, which surprisingly doesn't stop them from continuing offering their services and products which are often using the de facto crimeware kits as the foundations for their propositions. Are the buyers even aware of this fact? From a buyer's perspective in times when most of the output is sold in bulk form, or access to the botnet rented for a specific period of time, the buyer doesn't care about the cybercrime platform of use, but is looking for transparent ways to justify the investment he's made into renting the service.

Now that Zeus administrators and their cybercrime clerks in the face of those managing the campaigns knowingly or unknowingly knowing the type of campaigns and the data that they manage, can listen to their favorite music within Zeus and choose different layouts for the command and control interfaces while commiting cybercrime, what's next?

Convergence and improved monetization.

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