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November 26, 2014

Hackers making 20 times their investment

Social network phishing pages cost less than £100, net £6,300 in 100 victims.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Cybercriminals could be making 20 times as much as the amount they invest in hacking, according to the security company Kaspersky Lab.

Attackers can set up spam mailing lists and phishing pages disguised to look like social networks for under £100, with a 100 victims’ personal details potentially valued in excess of £6,300.

Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said: "Buying malware is currently not a problem: it’s easy to find them on various hacker forums, and they are relatively cheap, making them attractive.

"A cybercriminal following this illegal path doesn’t even need any skills – for a fixed price they can get an off-the-peg package to launch their attacks at will. As a result, users need to be especially careful to ensure they don’t lose their money or data."

Ransomware such as CryptoLocker, which locks smartphones and computers before demanding payment for their release, was said to cost around £1,300, but could net hackers a minimum of £60 per victim.

However Kaspersky said the most lucrative malware were banking trojans, which cost almost £2,000 but yield £450 per victim on average.

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