"There are programmers who are working for brokers, and the brokers are selling the malware to other criminals, who are then reselling the malware to other criminals," says Trend Micro's Parry. "When they capture a bunch of systems, they resell those systems to another criminal, and another criminal. The actual hacker types don't want to get their hands dirty with something that would actually send them to prison." Other groups build affiliate networks that tap into legitimate and semi-legitimate businesses. In a presentation at the Defcon hacking conference this year, Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland's Department of Computer Science described networks in which businesses would pay affiliates up to 30 cents for each machine they infect with spyware or adware...Link (via Beyond the Beyond)
Other operations mirror legitimate software as a service providers. These "malware-as-a-service" providers rent out access to botnets or Web-based attack tools. Gutmann noted one example in which a Russian group rented out its malicious Website. A prospective buyer could get the 100 visitors for free, but then had to pay US$4 per 1,000 visitors up to 5,000, US$3.80 per 1000 up to 10000, and US$3.50 per 1,000 if they bought 10,000 or more. "Software rental is just another way to get money out of this market," says Oliver Friedrichs, Symantec's Director of Security Response. "It's common to see authors who write keyloggers and botnetworks, and then rent them out to people ultimately who may launch a phishing campaign or a spam campaign."