Trojan armed with hardware-based anti-piracy control2010.03.15 10:30 by Daniela
Keywords: Zeus, Microsoft, trojan
The latest version of the Zeus do-it-yourself crimeware kit goes to great lengths to thwart would-be pirates by introducing a hardware-based product activation scheme similar to what's found in Microsoft Windows.
The newest version with bare-bones capabilities starts at $4,000 and additional features can fetch as much as $10,000. The new feature is designed to prevent what Microsoft refers to as "casual copying" by ensuring that only one computer can run a licensed version of the program. After it is installed, users must obtain a key that's good for just that one machine.
"This is the first time we have seen this level of control for malware," according to an analysis of the latest Zeus version published this week by SecureWorks.
The hardware-based licensing system isn't the only page Zeus creators have borrowed from Microsoft. They've also pushed out multiple flavors of the package that vary in price depending on the capabilities it offers. Just as Windows users can choose between the lower-priced Windows 7 Starter or the more costly Windows 7 Business, bot masters have multiple options for Zeus.
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