Not long ago, PCs compromised by malware were put to a limited number of fraudulent uses, including spam, click fraud and denial-of-service attacks. These days, computer crooks are extracting and selling a much broader array of data stolen from hacked systems, including passwords and associated email credentials tied to a variety of online retailers.
At the forefront of this trend are the botnet creation kits like Citadel, ZeuS and SpyEye, which make it simple for miscreants to assemble collections of compromised machines. By default, most bot malware will extract any passwords stored in the victim PC’s browser, and will intercept and record any credentials submitted in Web forms, such as when a user enters his credit card number, address, etc. at an online retail shop.
Some of the most valuable data extracted from hacked PCs is bank login information. But non-financial logins also have value, particularly for shady online shops that collect and resell this information.
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