There's a good report on the darker side of the Net over on the PC Advisor Web site, in which Erik Larkin explains how black market malware is being offered for sale and licensing via hidden forums and hard-to-find Internet sites.
According to Larkin, the trade in malware has reached the point where illicit entrepreneurs are now offering tech support and free updates for their software.
Some sites, he says, even feature escrow services for purchases made, with the forum holding on to the dosh paid until the customer is happy with their purchase.
$400, it seems, is enough to buy you a copy of Illusion DDoS Bot, a piece of malware that can launch a variety of DDoS attacks that overwhelm Web sites and servers, with control of the botnet being managed through an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel or a Web site.
If funds are tight, then $30 will get you a customised Pinch data-stealing Trojan that its seller guarantees will not be detected by antivirus applications when it's delivered. Incredibly, says Larkin, tech support is included in the price.
Read more on this fascinating subject here...