Cyber criminals are setting up affiliate networks to combine talents in bypassing gateways and anti-virus, and to bolster the quality ofmalware.
Webroot security blogger Dancho Danchev told SC Magazine consolidation in cyber crime was occurring as spammers and phishers worked to form relationships to outwit whitehats.
This produced better malware, higher infection rates and fatter profits.
“Someone sets up an affiliate network and sends spam and phishing messages to make money and gather hundreds of hosts," he said.
"They also share intelligence so the quality assurance is better.
Danchev said the first affiliate network was seen in 2008 and the services have improved since then as they have become more automated.
“Personally, I think cyber criminals are one step ahead of our industry and are aware of the latest technologies.”
He said there was no affiliate network for Macs as yet. Affiliate networks existed for pharmaceutical spam, manufacturing networks and software.