Everyone is working to a cloud business model now — even virus writers. Rather than turning a profit just once by selling a security exploit as a one-off, authors of malicious software are now selling malware as a cloud-based service. This means they make money each time someone pays to use or rent one of the products, according to researchers.
“The biggest cybercrime operations are essentially computer software and services companies, albeit illicit ones,” says the 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report, which claims that criminal services sold on the ‘dark web’ even come with the reassurances and terms and conditions you’d expect to see with any other legitimate software product.
“Developers create tools that they sell or rent to customers through online black markets, complete with sales, money-back guarantees, and reputation systems to provide customers with assurances that they won’t get ripped off,” the report says.