Botnet Rentals Surprisingly Affordable

Paul Lilly

Here's something that will help you sleep a little less soundly at night. According to the cybersecurity intelligence division of VeriSign, hourly botnet rentals can be had for less than $9 . The average price of a 24-hour rental runs $67.20.

VeriSign said it launched an online investigation into 25 botnet operators back in February, zeroing in on botnet services advertised on three web forums. The services offered a range of attack vectors, including ICMP, SYN, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, and Data. What's more, these services came advertised through forums and banner ads, just like a legitimate business would.

"While these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the criminals targeting your business may not be," said VeriSign iDefense director of intelligence Rick Howard in a statement.

Howard's chilling scenario has already played out, and at these prices, there's no reason to believe this won't be a common theme for a long time to come. For example, it was just two months ago that three men were arrested and accused of operating the Mariposa botnet. None of these men had any significant programming background, yet the Mariposa botnet was comprised of some 12.7 million PCs and stole credit card and bank log-in data from about half of the Fortune 1000 companies and over 40 banks.

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