Story image

Bulletproof hosting: why cyber crims can't live without it

20 Jul 2015

Bulletproof hosting services (BPHS) is a critical component of cybercrime that is often overlooked, according to security experts Trend Micro, who says online criminals would not be able to operate without it. 

The security firm says local law enforcement agencies usually turn a blind eye to BPHS because BPHS clients do not usually focus on targets in their home country.
 
Specialising in malicious, dangerous or illegal content, bulletproof hosters are home for sites that include a range of potentially harmful content, including fake goods, malware, exploits, C&C components, adult content and child exploitation - complete with customer service, Trend Micro says.
 
BPHS are hardware-, software- or application-based hosting facilities that can store any type of content and executable code, just like any regular hosting service. 

Trend Micro says these types of servers can be used to host malicious content, such as phishing sites, pornography, fake shopping and carding sites, and even command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure. 

“In short, it’s the foundation by which major cybercriminal operations are built upon,” Trend Micro explains.

Trend Micro says its latest research aims to bring these hosting services to the public eye, offering a look into the more obscure details of cybercrime. 

Through extensive research, Trend Micro says the most common malicious content hosted on BHPS consist of fake shopping sites, torrent file download sites, Blackhat SEO pseudo-sites, brute force tools, C&C components and more.

The Trend Micro research found BHPS providers’ business models consist of three models: the dedicated bulletproof server model, in which the provider knowingly hosts malicious content; the compromised dedicated server, where the provider compromises dedicated legitimate servers and rents them out to malicious parties; and abused cloud-hosting services, where legitimate service providers are being used illegally.

Besides hosting malicious content, BHPS providers also earn revenue from other services, such as technical support, infrastructure migration, protection against DDoS attacks and more. Just like a legitimate server hosting practice, they provide supplementary services for their clients, Trend Micro explains. 

The price of a hosting server depends on which business model the provider is using as well as the duration of usage. A dedicated server may cost around US$70 a month, while another can cost as much as US$5 for only one attack.

More details and in-depth analysis are available here.
 

New threat rears its head in new malware report
Check Point’s researchers view Speakup as a significant threat, as it can be used to download and spread any malware.
Oracle updates enterprise blockchain platform
Oracle’s enterprise blockchain has been updated to include more capabilities to enhance development, integration, and deployment of customers’ new blockchain applications.
Used device market held back by lack of data security regulations
Mobile device users are sceptical about trading in their old device because they are concerned that data on those devices may be accessed or compromised after they hand it over.
Gartner names ExtraHop leader in network performance monitoring
ExtraHop provides enterprise cyber analytics that deliver security and performance from the inside out.
Symantec acquires zero trust innovator Luminate Security
Luminate’s Secure Access Cloud is supposedly natively constructed for a cloud-oriented, perimeter-less world.
Palo Alto releases new, feature-rich firewall
Palo Alto is calling it the ‘fastest-ever next-generation firewall’ with integrated cloud-based DNS Security service to stop attacks.
The right to be forgotten online could soon be forgotten
Despite bolstering free speech and access to information, the internet can be a double-edged sword, because that access to information goes both ways.
Opinion: 4 Ransomware trends to watch in 2019
Recorded Future's Allan Liska looks at the past big ransomware attacks thus far to predict what's coming this year.