Botnets have been playing a central role in facilitating cyberattacks across the world, they can be used to move malware, ransomware packages and other threat tools.
The infected computer systems captured by a cybercriminal’s botnet machinery can be leveraged as points of distributing phishing emails and malicious tools to even more devices. The dark web botnet trade has become sophisticated enough as to provide the opportunity for some actors to lease out their collection of controlled devices to other cybercriminals.
Nonetheless, owing to their technical nature, botnets have seemingly been the reserve of tech-savvy cybercriminals.
Well, the dark web is now supplying tutorials on how anyone can earn from botnets. This development is definitely going to have a significant effect on the dark web-facilitated cybercriminal landscape.
According to a report published recently by cybersecurity experts at Recorded Future, there is a growing demand for botnet courses online. The findings were made following an analysis that was conducted on advertising and activity within a botnet school tucked deep in the darknet’s underbelly.
It turns out that the trainers behind the tutorials are botnet experts themselves, with some course raking in as much as $1,400. The rationale for this high cost is pegged on the promise that they can furnish even the most novice cybercriminal with the skills and knowledge they need in order to construct, maintain and start making money off botnets.
Quite obviously, the rise in demand for these lessons is set to be a cybercriminal game changer considering that dark web users who are seemingly new to the trade may straight away be able to carve out a living off the dark web botnet industry.
How Lethal Are Botnets?
As mentioned already, the dark web’s important role in the botnet value chain cannot be overstated. Underground platforms have been enabling the sale of botnets used for breaching subscription services such as Netflix and Apple Music.
In fact, they have been commonly used in notorious Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks that have knocked entire dark web sites down to their knees. The dangerous nature of these malicious systems has been witnessed in the past – the 2016 Mirai botnet case is one such example.
Then, the botnet caused the takedown of a large section of the internet, thereby affecting notable organizations including Twitter, Netflix and CNN. The adverse effects of the Mirai botnet were further felt by high-tier Russian financial institutions and organizations in the West African Republic of Liberia.
Point to note, although the co-authors of the Mirai botnet were prosecuted, it turns out that they left a legacy that continues to live to this day – dark web vendor adverts have become a common sighting across various markets within the underground economy.