Malware writers turn to copy protection for their work

Symantec has said that malware writers are increasingly using digital rights management technology found in mainstream software to protect their own work

Malware writers are pinching anti-piracy technology embedded in some of the world's most popular software to protect their own work, according to Symantec.

The antivirus company said writers of complex malware toolkits can embed measures to prevent users from stealing their work. "They are using the same Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology as major software," said Craig Scroggie, managing director of Symantec Pacific. "They will build their own DRM, steal it from the big names or cobble it together."

Most would-be buyers of the toolkits lack the technical understanding to reverse-engineer the DRM measures. The price of a malware toolkit has risen substantially, Scroggie said, from about A$15 (£9.30) in 2006 to more than A$8000. "The premium is because of the success rate," Scroggie said.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Malware toolkits guarded with stolen DRM on ZDNet Australia.

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