The recent leak of source code for a powerful piece of bank-fraud malware may spawn a surge of advanced botnet attacks carried out by copycat hackers who previously didn't have the skill to pull off such feats, security researchers warned.
Carberp, as the botnet-creation toolkit is known, previously sold in underground crime forums for as much as $40,000 a license. In the last week, source code for the crimeware began circulating online for free and can now be acquired by many people who have a few hours to poke around. While the leak is a boon for researchers who want to know as much as possible about the inner workings of sophisticated malware, it also comes with a dark side: it isn't that hard for malware newcomers to get their hands on the 1.88 GB package of code.
"In short, it does not take a genius to get a copy of the leaked source code, which makes this whole thing dangerous," Christopher Elisan, principal malware scientist in security firm RSA's FirstWatch department, wrote in a blog post published Friday. "Any script kiddie, who probably does not understand the technology, can use this which may result in dire consequences. It's like handing a bazooka to a child."