Oh cool, tech service prices are plummeting. And by tech services, we mean botnet rentals and stolen credit cards

Oh cool, tech service prices are plummeting. And by tech services, we mean botnet rentals and stolen credit cards

Crime has never been cheaper to pull off, so long as you're not particular about quality.


At least that's according [PDF] to a Trend Micro whitepaper on the cost of criminal services, which says over the past five years the prices for botnet rentals and credit card numbers have taken a nosedive.


"In 2015, generic botnets started selling at around $200 in Russian underground forums. Generic botnet prices today cost around $5 a day, and prices for builders start at $100," Trend said.


"United States credit cards were sold at $20 in 2015, but prices start at $1 in 2020. High-balance credit cards are selling for over $500 in 2020. Meanwhile, monthly crypting services dropped to around $20." A crypting service is one that encrypts and obfuscates malware and other malicious code to evade detection.


Essentially, criminal services that once commanded fairly high prices are now commonplace, and as a result asking prices have plummeted. Having said that, prices for specialized services have stayed rather steady. Ransomware, for example, fetches the same price it did five years ago.


"Ransomware-as-service prices still start at $5. Crypterlocker, which has been around since 2013, continues to demand a high price (around $100)," Trend noted. "Scanned document services, such as copies of driver's licenses, passports, and bill statements, still start at $5 – similar to the prices in 2015."


There is still a premium market to be had for boutique malware. The Trend team observed that particularly nasty strains of ransomware, such as Jigsaw, are able to command prices of up to $3,000, while the Ranion ransomware charges around $900 for an annual subscription. Similarly, Trend said the top pieces of banking malware, things like the Osiris trojan, still sell for around $3,000, and specialized se ..