Botnets for hire?

I found this article on regarding the availability of botnets for hire to be quite fascinating!  While botnet activity encompasses more than just spam (which we as email consultants are most interested in), the spam that is generated by these computer armies causes us as email consultants, administrators and users considerable grief!

Kaspersky Laboratories has conducted a study to find just what it costs to hire a botnet to do the dirty work for spammers and other cyber thugs and criminals.  Some of the activities relating to email are quite interesting:

  • Hiring a botnet for DDoS attacks costs from $50 to thousands of dollars.  While it’s difficult to say if Caledonia has ever been targeted by a botnet, we’ve certainly seen DDoS attacks against our email servers over the years.
  • Email address lists can be had for between $20 and $100 per million
  • spammers charge $150 to $200 per million addresses to send the spam for a company
  • Targeted spam blasts can be sent for $70 for small mailing of a few thousand names and can reach  $1,000 for of tens of millions of names.  Still a bargain if only a fraction of a percent of recipients bite!

As we’ve said many times, until it’s not a profitable endeavor, spam will continue to grow and thrive. It’s just too reasonable a price to get junk send out to stop it.

So, on that note, enjoy a happy (and hopefully spam-free) weekend!


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