The MPack developers sell their creation, which they keep up to date with the latest exploits, to a series of organized
crime groups, and they do so for about $1,000 per toolkit. In July 2007, SecurityFocus posted a pretty spooky interview with the MPack developers, known as the "Dream Coders Team," in which they describe their business model and practices. In August 2007, MPack developers were implicated in an attack against the Bank of India's Web site, which compromised and served up 22 different exploits to unsuspecting surfers.
These types of crimeware tools are a significant threat to the enterprise, because they represent a major vector by which malware propagates today. Enterprises that don't have thoroughly patched browsers, PDF readers, media players and other client-side software are very likely to get compromised by MPack and similar tools. Once the bad guys have control of an internal enterprise network's machines, they can steal sensitive information, resulting in significant damages to an organization's profits and reputation.
From a defensive measure, there's not a lot that law enforcement can do to prevent the sale of this code. First off, most of the code is developed overseas, in countries where law enforcement lacks the resources to stop, or even track, such transactions. Furthermore, in many countries, the sale of such code isn't a crime in and of itself.
Thus, our best defense against these exploit-distributing attacks is to keep our Web servers hardened. The Center for Internet Security features downloadable hardening guides, many specific types of Web servers. Furthermore, clients must be patched thoroughly – especially browsers and third-party client software -- to minimize the chance of exploitation. Check out my recent tip that describes methods for patching third-party applications on Windows systems.
Dig deeper on Emerging Information Security Threats
Related Q&A from Ed Skoudis, Contributor
At Black Hat 2006, researcher Joanna Rutkowska unveiled a piece of machine-based malware called the Blue Pill. But is it a serious threat to your ...continue reading
Wi-Fi on airplanes seems like it will be unavoidable in the future, but what security risks does it pose? In this security threats expert response, ...continue reading
There are some rare forms of malware that antivirus software doesn't pick up on, but there are some good tools to remove all sorts of malware.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.