Malware Development goes Social

You know an idea is here to stay when even the criminals get behind it… In this case, the idea is crowd sourcing and user-driven development models. Brian Krebs recently reported on a new development in the malware world – the developers of a new ZeuS variant called Citadel are offering a CRM and social network for their customers to provide feedback and report bugs.

What I find constantly intriguing about these types of developments is not that malware authors are trending towards the same best practices used by other development verticals, but that they can field such sophisticated customer relationship systems without compromising themselves to authorities. But having criminals continue the trend of cooperative development while defenders and authorities are all too often stuck in a mode of default secrecy, refusing to share what compromises and counter measures are working, does not bode well for our industry in the long term.

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