The last couple of weeks has been dominated by talk of Blackshades and the FBI crackdown on those using it. We did a number of media interviews around Blackshades and here’s what we think people should really be focusing on:
The price: At $40.00, Blackshades was a bargain. Such a low entry point is great for mass adoption and a quick payday. Mass adoption however, stirs up attention from law enforcement. While the FBI managed to make almost 100 arrests, I doubt that any of those are what we would consider high value targets.
The Response: The FBI has made a lot of noise about this operation, and rightly so. The scale of the operation was huge, involving 300 searches in 19 countries. With almost 100 arrests, it’s clear that the FBI has gotten better at working with their counterparts around the world.
Sadly, while the FBI is bringing justice to those using the Blackshades malware, the NSA is busy doing the exact same thing that the people arrested were. I think it’s safe to say that their software cost a lot more than $40 though.
Blackshades gives people something to be scared of:
Let’s face it, the general public just doesn’t care about their privacy as much as we might like them to. If their credit card info is stolen, the bank picks up the tab. Someone might read their emails or gain access to their social media accounts? They’re already posting most of their personal lives for all to see anyway.
What people are scared of is someone posting naked pictures of them online. The webcam functionality of malware is usually of little concern to security folk. It is, however, a big concern for the average citizen. Having to replace your credit card is an annoyance. Naked pics of you being passed around your school or workplace is something that might actually elicit a change in behaviour.