Russian e-crime tools and services are getting cheaper as the black market that supports them becomes more diverse, according to research by IT security company Trend Micro.
Senior threat researcher Max Goncharov told SC that the average price of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) fell from US$50-80 per day last year to $30-70 per day in 2012.
The price of stolen credit card details had also fallen according to the 80-plus Russian-speaking crime forums tracked by Trend Micro,
Yet the value of Australian cards on the black market remained high, according to sepearate research by CloudEyez.
Average prices likely fell since criminals had more efficient tools, software vulnerabilities pervailed and consumers remained unaware of security, according to Goncharov.
"Technologies are getting faster, software [security] is not really getting better, and consumers still rely on luck," said Goncharov, adding that prices plateaued for services like malware programming and cryptography.
Criminals were also increasingly using encrypted virtual private networks to communicate after discussion was initiated on forums.
The research also found more individualised, specialised services were emerging like file crypting services that concealed malware from security software. Groups specialised in preparing phishing and web scamming resources for sale, while others prepared drop files for use in exploit kits, for example.
The range of Russian e-crime products and services includes dedicated servers, proxy servers, VPN services, social engineering services and hacking services, according to a Trend Micro report published on Tuesday.
Despite a trend towards specialisation, some groups still ran several areas of a malware business to keep costs down and retain control of their products, Goncharov added.