Global Spam Market Gives Rise to Multilingual Malware Authors

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - According to a report released by McAfee Avert Labs, generating malware for worldwide penetration of the mainstream and adult markets has become big business, and the demand for multilingual hackers is burgeoning.


"This isn't malware for the masses anymore," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs. "Cybercrooks have become extremely deft at learning the nuances of the local regions and creating malware specific to each country. They're not skilled just at computer programming; they're skilled at psychology and linguistics, too."


Grammatical errors and poor spelling are seen as red-flag indicators that an email or website may be illegitimate. Since focused regional attacks depend largely on language skills, several malware companies are seeking to mend the flaw by recruiting people who can confidently speak their target regions' languages.


The Internet has been inundated with advertisements looking for virus authors who are fluent in many languages, ranging from Japanese to Portuguese. ARS Technica reported that "economic conditions" in nations like China and Russia are contributing to the rise of recruiting efforts. Both countries have an abundance of accomplished coders with no steady employment, and the laws on cybercrimes in those nations are relatively weak.


Due to the collapse of the infamously corrupt Russian Business Network, the global spyware market has become a big focus, so much so that Russia has exceeded China in generating spam and other malware. Growing interest in online crime has increased within the Russian mafia, as well, which could have a widespread impact on worldwide malware businesses.