Commercial Applications of Botnets

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In order to allow them access to the compromised networks, botmasters claim huge amounts of money. Selling and leasing botnets are two illegal operations that bring lots of money to their masters, and that is why malware authors have started creating botnets with the sole purpose of selling them to other interested parties, ready to spread more malware or spam.
Sending commercial spam is one of the most common applications of botnets.The advertised merchandise is usually either illegal or dangerous. For instance, the vast majority of spam messages deal with restricted medicine, such as Viagra, Levitra, Xanax or other controlled drugs that can only be purchased on prescriptions. Other spam messages advertise replicas, an euphemism that covers a wide range of fake products (Rolex watches and designer pieces of jewellery or accessories).Counterfeit software also represents a significant chunk of the spam messages.

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.