IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: Exploit Toolkits: Software That Makes Cyber-Crime Easier

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2011-01-20 Print this article Print
Exploit Toolkits: Software That Makes Cyber-Crime Easier

Exploit Toolkits: Software That Makes Cyber-Crime Easier

by Brian Prince
They are part of what makes the cyber-underworld tick. They make the complicated easy, giving users the ability to control computers and steal mountains of data. And they can do it all for a few hundred dollars.The "they in this story are the exploit toolkits flooding the Web. According to security software vendor Symantec, the first attack toolkits appeared in the early 1990s and, compared with those that are making the rounds today, were fairly rudimentary. But times have changed. Today, popular kits such as Zeus are well-known, widely advertised and sold online. Recently, Zeus merged with the infamous SpyEye kit, churning out a new and improved crimeware toolkit complete with brute-force password-guessing capabilities, a virtual network computing module and auto-update feature. Such kits have lowered the barrier of entry for attackers by permitting less tech-savvy cyber-criminals to hit the ground running. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at the evolution of the exploit kits being sold on the black market, which ones are the most popular and what vulnerabilities they target the most.

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