The Webroot threat blog discusses the concept of “Malware as a service: as easy as it gets” with a March 31 posting by Marcus Moreno, Webroot Threat Analyst .
What’s disturbing is the way rather talented people look at it as a way to make a living. This may sound comparable to making a living growing marijuana, in the day before some states gradually started legalizing it. But malware harms people (I’ll leave aside the debate on marijuana, alcohol, tobacco) and businesses (small ones especially).
Much of the activity by “elite” programmers probably occurs largely in non-democratic countries, especially Russia and China (and former Soviet republics), simply because of poorly managed economies and poor legitimate job markets. In fact, Vladimir Putin seems to look at exporting malware as a way to humble western consumers and businesses. Having just written this, I do have to ponder how one of the leading security vendors (Kaspersky Labs) comes from Russia.
But some activity occurs in the west because legitimate employment is not
as stable as it used to be, except for the most talented.