Hackers sell exploits for Bitcoins in underground market

n13-iconBloomberg reports: Hackers from the U.S., Russia and Ukraine hawk computer exploits for as much as $300,000 on an underground market fueled by digital currencies like Bitcoin, a report by RAND Corp. and Juniper Networks Inc. shows.

The thriving trade in software, data or commands that takes advantage of computer bugs and glitches generates billions of dollars using digital storefronts that connect sellers with buyers or where mercenaries can be hired to do the job, according to the report released today.

“Anyone with an Internet connection can get involved,” Lillian Ablon, an information systems analyst at RAND and the study’s lead author, said in a phone interview. “If you can’t do something, you can find someone else to do it for you.”

One of the first comprehensive efforts to map out how criminal hackers operate using anonymous networks, encrypted communications and digital currencies, the 83-page report comes amid warnings by U.S. government and industry officials that digital attacks are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous. [Continue reading…]

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