Turns out criminal businesses need hosting services and cybersecurity protections too


HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 22 July 2020 – Trend Micro
(TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), the global
leader in cloud security, today released new insights analyzing the
market for underground hosting services and detailing how and where
cybercriminals rent the infrastructure that hosts their business. This first
report of a planned three-part series details the market for buying and selling
these services, which are the backbone of every other aspect of the
cybercriminal business model, whether that includes sending spam, communicating
with a command and control server, or offering a help desk for ransomware.


Over the past five years, increased use and
abuse of compromised assets has formed a whole new market. There are varied
types of underground hosting and associated services used by cybercriminals to
operate their businesses, including bulletproof hosting, virtual private
networks (VPNs), anonymizers, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
protection. Such services could variously be used to protect availability,
maintain anonymity, disrupt forensics, obfuscate physical location, and enable
IP spoofing, among other things.


over a decade, Trend Micro Research has dug into how cybercriminals think, as
opposed to focusing only on what they do, which is critical when it comes to
protecting against them,” said Robert McArdle, director of forward-looking threat
research at Trend Micro. “Today we release the first of three-part in-depth
series on how these criminals approach their infrastructure needs, and the
markets that exist for such commodities. We hope that providing law enforcement
and other stakeholders with a go-to resource on this topic will help to further
our collective mission of making the digital world a safer place.”


Cybercrime is a highly professional industry,
with sales and advertisements leveraging legitimate marketing techniques and
platforms, all driven by cost to some extent. For example, one advertisement
was found for dedicated, compromised servers based in the US starting at just
$3, rising to $6 with guaranteed availability for 12 hours. Although many of
these services are traded on underground forums, some of which are invite-only,
others are clearly advertised and sold via legitimate social media and
messaging platforms such as Twitter, VK and Telegram.


fact, the line between criminality and legitimate business behavior is increasingly
difficult to discern. Some hosting providers have a legitimate clientele and
advertise openly on the internet but may have resellers that sell exclusively
to the criminal underground — either with or without the company’s knowledge.


In the
case of bulletproof hosters, which are more definitively linked to cybercrime,
they are generally regular hosting providers trying to diversify their business
to cater to the needs of specific customers. For a premium price, they’re
prepared to push to the absolute limit of what the law allows and prosecutes in
their local jurisdiction.


where and how these services are sold, and consequently impacting the cost of
these sales, is arguably our best strategy to help make a lasting and
repeatable dent in the cybercriminal underground market. Parts two and three of
the series will further investigate the types of underground services and
infrastructure offered, and the operational security and motivations of the
actors who sell such services.


To read the complete first report, please visit: https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/hk/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/hacker-infrastructure-and-underground-hosting-101-where-are-cybercriminal-platforms-offered  

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity
solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our
innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered
security for data centers, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our
products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a
connected threat defense with centralized visibility and control, enabling
better, faster protection. With more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries
and the world’s most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro secures
your connected world. For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com.hk.