Russian cybergangs make the Web a dangerous place

[IDG] Russian cybergangs have established a robust system for promoting Web sites that sell fake antivirus software, pharmaceuticals and counterfeit luxury products, according to a new report from security vendor Sophos.In order to sell these bogus goods, many of those sites rely on hundreds of “affiliate networks,” which are essentially contractors that find ways to direct Web users to the bad sites, wrote Dmitry Samosseiko, a Sophos analyst. He made a presentation this week at the Virus Bulletin security conference in Geneva. see:Viagra spam brings bulging returns of more than $4,000/day
Pharmaceutical spam can generate more than $4,000 per day in sales, confirming that spam continues to thrive because of those gullible few who click through and ruin it for the rest of us. And that’s not just an estimate: a security researcher from Sophos have combed through sales logs as part of his investigation into the growth of spam networks, noting that Russian affiliate partner networks — also known as “partnerka” — are responsible for some of the largest Canadian pharmacy spam businesses.Dmitry Samosseiko’s report, “The Partnerka — what is it, and why should you care?” focuses largely on these Russian networks and how they drive traffic, advertising, and more. Not surprisingly, online pharmaceuticals tend to be a very popular affiliate business, with one of the largest being one called GlavMed. GlavMed itself claims to be strongly anti-spam, but it has a sister company called “SpamIt,” a private group of e-mail spam affiliates that researchers suspect are also behind the Storm, Waledec, and Conficker botnets.

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