Malware writers wanted

The number of online advertisments for malware writers is on the increase, at least in Russia.

Security pundit Brian Krebs has noticed that there appears to be a skills shortage in the malware business, with shedloads of banner ads placed by criminal gangs looking for talented programmers to help make existing malware stealthier and more feature-rich.

Most of the jobs are for those skilled in devising custom “crypters,” programs designed to change the appearance of known malware so that it goes undetected by anti-virus software.

The money is not bad, considering where most of the cyber criminals are based. You get a basic salary of $2,000 per month in exchange for a “long-term partnership” creating crypters that include customer support.

You do not need previous experience, you get paid weekly and most of the gangs want long termers.

Some adverts are offering $5000 a month for creating custom crypters and providing customer support.

Another area where you can get good money is for developers who can perform “Web injects,” which are plug-ins for malware kits like the ZeuS and SpyEye trojans. They aim to inject custom content into a web browser when the victim looks at certain sites.

It is tricky coding good web injects because a poorly-designed one may alert the victim that the site has been played with.

Krebs said it’s interesting that the cyber gangs have worked out that they need to spend a lot of dosh on R&D and they are forming teams of developers.

Some of these might specialise in maintaining one component or function of the malware.