Hackers in Arab world collaborate more than hoodie-clad westerners

www.theregister.co.uk | 10/10/2017 | Staff
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Cybercriminals in the Arab states are some of the most co-operative in the world, according to a new report by Trend Micro.

The study, titled Digital Souks: A glimpse into the Middle Eastern and North African underground (PDF), identifies the most popular kinds of hacking tools and commodities, and the most active countries in the region.

Hacktivism - DDoS - Attacks - Defacements - Staple

Hacktivism, DDoS attacks and website defacements are a staple in the Middle East. These tactics are often carried out by actors who harbour ideological mistrust towards the West as well as local governments. Major primary product categories are malware (27 per cent), fake documents (27 per cent), stolen data (20 per cent), crimeware (13 per cent), weapons (10 per cent), and narcotics (3 per cent).

Items sold on the underground in the region are entirely different to other parts of the world, where drug sales dominate the scene.

Crimeware - Variety - Cryptors - Malware - Hacking

Crimeware sold includes a variety of cryptors, malware and hacking tools. Typical prices include worms at $1-$12, keyloggers for free up to $19, known ransomware for $30-$50, malware builders for free up to $500, citadel (FUD) for $150, ninja RAT (FUD) for $100, and Havij 1.8 (cracked) for free.

Similar to the Russian-speaking underground, cashout services also abound. These are platforms from which physical items, usually stolen, are converted into cash. These services are paid in bankcards, Bitcoin (BTC) or via direct cash transactions.

Middle - East - Underground - DDoS - Services

In the Middle East underground, DDoS services can be purchased by hacktivists and threat actors to further their ideology. The average is $45 per hour, with three-hour packages at $275, and involves the deployment of tools such as Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) or Lizard Stresser.

Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) typically includes a purveyor, a malware developer selling a single binary or a combination of a binary and builder marketed as fully undetectable (FUD). Average prices are $20 for a binary,...
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