How much money do computer viruses make and how?

By On Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 Categories : Question & Answer

How much money do computer viruses make and how?. Are You mate has that kind of query?, If do then plz found the best solution below this line:

The rather silly conspiracy theory that AV vendors pay virus writers to make viruses is trendy among people who like watching crime shows on TV, but is not taken seriously by anyone who understands business or Infosec. It’s a dim conspiracy theory—first, because AV vendors aren’t going to risk destruction of their business and jail time, and second, because they don’t need to incentivize virus writers. Virus writing is already big money.

Almost all computer malware is written for profit, and has been for a very long time. Serious malware these days is almost exclusively the province of organized crime.

There are tons of revenue streams from malware:

Spam distribution and botnets. The first for-profit computer viruses would install remote controlled email servers on infected computers. Lists of these infected computers would then be rented to spammers, who would remotely control the infected computers and relay spam through them.

Nowadays, infected computers become part of a “botnet”—a network of PCs under the control of the virus writer. These botnets are used to make money in DDoS extortion (the virus writers will use thousands or tens of thousands of infected computers to flood Web sites with fake traffic, knocking the web sites offline, if the Web owner doesn’t pay), click fraud (the infected computers are used to send fake click traffic to pay-per-click ad services, earning commissions for the virus writers), and hosting of phony “phish” sites such as fake bank or PayPal sites on infected computers.

Keyloggers. Malware will record the keystrokes on an infected computer, especially if it sees things like bank or PayPal URLs. It will then send the recorded keystrokes back to the malware writers, stealing bank account numbers, PayPal accounts, and passwords.

Ransomware. Some malware encrypts the files on an infected computer, then demands that the computer owner pay a ransom, usually in untraceable Bitcoins or to a Western Union account in Eastern Europe, for the decryption key to get the files back.

Political gain. There are state-sponsored virus writers who seek to plant remote access malware on specific computers belonging to political or business figures. This can happen through “spear phishing,” sending booby-trapped emails to a specific individual that seem legitimate because they are custom-tailored to that individual, or as part of corporate espionage.

Premium-rate malware. This malware usually infects smartphones. The virus writers sign up for affiliate accounts on so-called “premium rate SMS” services—services where you send a text message to a certain number and get charged money (for example, “text to this number and we’ll send you back your horoscope for $30!”). They then split the profits with the premium SMS operator.

Fake AV. This is malware that pops up a scary-looking “virus warning” that tells you your computer has been infected with a phony “virus” and that you need to download software to “fix” the “virus.” You’re then taken to a page where you’re charged anywhere from $20 to $200 to install….a phony piece of software that does nothing (or, in some variants of the scam, additional malware that gives the virus writers full access to your computer). The money passes through shell companies and fake businesses until it arrives at the virus writer, usually in Eastern Europe.

Fake tech support. Like fake AV, the malware pops up a phony warning message telling your computer has crashed and that you need to call “Microsoft tech support” or “Apple tech support” to fix the problem. It gives you a phone number. When you call it, you are told that your computer has crashed and you need to pay to fix it. You give the scammers your credit card number, and they walk you through installing remote access software on your computer that enables them to take control of it.

Malware’s Journey from Hobby to Profit-Driven Attacks

Cybercrime, Inc.: how profitable is the business?

Ransom malware gangs making huge profits, Symantec discovers

Four Ways Cyber Crooks Make Massive Profits Using Malware

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