Information security expert firm SecureWorks said Wednesday that cybercriminals are now hiring, and they are actually advertising the paid gigs on the Internet. The job? Take malicious code provided by the "employer" and link it to something a web surfer is guaranteed to click on such as pictures, PDFs, and more. Unfortunately, the blatant advertisement only proves that the cybercrime epidemic plaguing the Internet is only growing.
According to SercureWorks threat intelligence analyst Kevin Stevens (via Reuters), at least two organizations are currently looking for contractors to do their evil deeds. These companies are shelling out set wages for each 1,000 times the malware is downloaded onto PCs.
One company pays around $180 for every 1,000 downloads within the United States--significantly less for computers residing outside the States. It also provides various ways to pay its contractors, using Fethard, WebMoney, Wire, e-gold, Western Union (WU), MoneyGram, Anelik and ePassporte, and PayPal.
Stevens pointed out that the companies in question refuse to pay for malware downloaded to Russian PCs. This has led the firm to believe that the companies are actually based in Russia. It's currently unknown how many PCs have been infected with the contracted malware, however Stevens said that the number was probably in the millions.
Things have grown steadily worse over the last three years as businesses and consumers take their private data online, including credit card numbers, banking account numbers, social security numbers, and more sensitive data. The FBI said that around $264 million USD were lost in 2008 due to Internet crime. Currently the FBI has not released the 2009 results.
Forget the FBI. This sounds like a job for Mermaid Man!