Stories in this blog’s Breadcrumbs series have sought to comb through clues that point to the possible location and identities of malware authors and purveyors. But from time to time those clues lead definitively back to an individual. In today’s post, we’ll look at the author of the Pincer Trojan for Android — a 32-year-old programmer at a mobile app development firm in Russia.
I recently published a piece that examined the role of several Ukrainian men likely responsible for making and marketing the Styx Pack malware exploit kit. Today’s post will show how this same enterprise is linked to a DDoS protection scheme and a sprawling cybercrook-friendly malware scanning service that is bundled with Styx-Crypt.
Not long ago, miscreants who wanted to buy an exploit kit — automated software that helps booby-trap hacked sites to deploy malicious code — had to be fairly well-connected, or at least have access to semi-private underground forums. These days, some exploit kit makers are brazenly advertising and offering their services out in the open, marketing their wares as browser vulnerability “stress-test platforms.”