Malware-as-a-service lets hackers steal your data for $10

A new (and cheap) service that offers hackers an easy method to set up a base where they manage and execute their cybercrimes has been discovered – and it’s gaining traction.

As Bleeping Computer reports, security researchers have discovered a program called Dark Utilities, effectively providing a command and control (C2) center.

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The service supports payloads for Windows, Linux, and Python. It also saves hackers from initiating and setting up a C2 communication channel. For reference, a C2 server is the central hub for managing malware distribution.

It also allows threat actors to administer commands, configurations/new payloads, and most importantly, extract data from systems that have been hacked.

The Dark Utilities platform operates as a “C2-as-a-service” (C2aaS). It’s billed as an anonymous C2 framework, with prices starting at €9.99, or just over $10.

It is certainly starting to gain momentum among underground hacking services, with Cisco Talos confirming that it already has 3,000 active subscribers. Suddenly, the one who is at the origin of the operation pockets around 30,000 euros in income.

The existence of Word of Dark Utilities materialized in the early stages of 2022. It provides a full-fledged C2 system that is compatible with both the famous Tor network and common browsers. Payloads reside in the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), which acts as a decentralized network system that stores and shares data.

Cisco Talos researchers confirmed that once an operating system has been chosen by the threat actor, it produces a command string that “threat actors typically embed in PowerShell or Bash scripts to facilitate recovery and execution of the payload on victim machines”.

The report also adds how the Dark Utilities admin panel offers various options for different attacks, ranging from standard Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and crypto-jacking operations.

Bleeping Computer points out that given the popularity it has achieved in just a few months, coupled with an attractive price, Dark Utilities is poised to become an even more in-demand platform, especially for hackers who don’t have a lot of experience in cybercriminal activity.

The amount of hacking-related activity throughout 2022 is unprecedented, to say the least. With hackers constantly changing their methods and moving faster than ever when it comes to scanning for possible vulnerabilities, it’s no surprise that cyberattacks have almost doubled since last year.

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