Cyber criminals charge just £6 for access to a botnet

Cyber criminals

Cyber criminals are renting out their botnets for just 5.99 an hour, enabling unskilled crooks to launch DDoS attacks.

So claims research by VeriSign iDefense, which went undercover on forums to seek out 25 "bot herders" offering their services.

They found the herders used many of the typical advertising tools to attract people, from banner advertising to forum marketing, and then charged just under 45 for a full day of botnet attacks capable of taking down websites and applications.

The major concern is that serious attacks such as these are now not only weapons to be wielded by skilled computer hackers but available to anybody for a small fee.

Rick Howard, director of intelligence at VeriSign iDefense, said in a statement: "Organisations need to be wary of the fact that their critical online applications or services could be taken down in under a day by a criminal renting services from bot herders [for] the same price as a memory stick or DVD."

He added: "While these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the criminals targeting your business may not be. Don't leave your company vulnerable to any criminal with an internet connection and a little cash to spare."

Read on for more on DDoS attacks.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.