Cybercriminals Offer 43 Cents For An Infected Mac

Recommended Posts

Cybercriminals Offer 43 cents for an infected Mac

Sophos researcher offers a peek at the inner workings of an infamous Russian affiliate network

Sept. 25, 2009 - By Kelly Jackson Higgins - DarkReading

Good news for Mac users: An infected OS X is still not as profitable to cybercriminals as an infected Windows machine.

But the bad news is that the bad guys are looking at infected Macs as a potential money-maker. Sophos researcher Dmitry Samosseiko at the Virus Bulletin conference in Geneva this week gave an inside view of the Russian "partnerka," a network of cybercrime affiliates who spew spam and malware (think "Canadian Pharmacy" Website) -- including information on one black market Website that a few months ago offered 43 cents per infected Mac OS X machine, which was at least 10 cents less than what infected Windows machines were going for in the cyber underground at the time.

The Website offering the deal,, also provided malware-laced phony video players to help the affiliates infect the Macs. The site has since disappeared from the Web, according to Sophos.

"Mac users are not immune to the scareware threat. In fact, there are 'codec-partnerka' dedicated to the sale and promotion of fake Mac software," Samosseiko wrote in his research paper (PDF).

A partnerka contains hundreds of affiliate networks that sell fake watches, fake antivirus, fake prescription pills, and other online scams, according to Samosseiko. "The affiliate networks focused on the promotion of illegal products are part of a growing multimillion dollar 'industry.' Affiliate web marketing also became the main driving force behind the recent explosion in malware, website infections, email spam and general web pollution," he wrote

Full story at darkreading -

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.