Wow, repeat that headline to someone from the 19th century and they’d call an exorcist. What it means, in words Stephen Colbert would find offensive, is that unbridled capitalism is allowing more Windows PCs to get hacked thanks to a for-hire network of little hacking robot programs or “bots.”
According to a PCWorld.com article from yesterday at Yahoo News, “Security researchers studying the latest Internet crime trends have discovered a new Eastern European website that uses a large botnet to infect vulnerable PCs. The operators of the botnet and website charge clients for each successful PC infection.”
Pretty cold, huh? And it’s much worse than you might think, too.
The idea here is to really make the capitalism-part pay off–really bring a powerful service like hacking PCs to the masses. In this case, the mysterious, probably-based-in-Russia hacking company offers up their services to anyone who wants them, apparently, allowing unscrupulous people with no knowledge of hacking to hack. Isn’t that cool?
Look at it this way: you want to know what’s going on inside someone’s home. You find a guy who has wired up a home with cameras and he’ll charge you for the footage those cameras shoot. That’s basically what’s going on here. Is it illegal? If you consider applications being installed on your PC without you agreeing to install them, then yes. Imagine someone sneaking into your car and attaching a GPS unit somewhere you couldn’t see it and then selling the tracking data to, well, whomever wanted it.
Wait–I may be putting ideas in bad people’s minds. I’d better end this post.
(Hey, you bad people! If you want to use any of these ideas, fine–just make sure I get a cut! Honor among thieves, don’t forget!)
Oh and FYI, you can check out the site the PCWorld.com article mentions as the front-end of the nefarious company for yourself–the above image is a screencap of the site taken after navigating to it via a proxy service called Anonymouse.org. I’m on a Mac, but with sites like this, you can’t be too careful. Check it out at your own peril.