A black market is selling access to hacked government servers for US$6

"It is a hacker’s dream," says Kaspersky Lab

Want access to a government server? An online black market is selling access to thousands of hacked servers for as little as US$6.

Known as xDedic, the market has a catalog of over 70,000 compromised servers for sale, Kaspersky Lab said Wednesday.

The servers are in 173 countries and used by governments, businesses and universities. The owners likely have no idea they’ve been hacked, the security firm said.

Hackers at xDedic breached many of the servers through trial-and-error using different passwords. They catalogued the servers' software, browsing history and other details buyers might like to know.

"It is a hacker’s dream, simplifying access to victims, making it cheaper and faster, and opening up new possibilities for both cybercriminals and advanced threat actors," Kaspersky said.

Criminal hackers can use the servers to send spam, steal data such as credit card information, and launch other types of attack.

“Purchasing access to a server located in a European Union country government network can cost as little as $6,” the security firm said.

Once buyers have done their work, the merchants put the server back up for sale. The inventory is constantly evolving.

Kaspersky said it learned of xDedic from a European ISP. The marketplace appears to have been created by Russian speakers, but they may not be affiliated with those selling on the site.

xDedic servers Kaspersky Lab

Chart showing location of hacked servers.

xDedic has flourished for two years and had 416 sellers as of May. Nine percent of the servers on sale are in Brazil, 7 percent in China and 6 percent in Russia. The biggest location is identified as "other," at 51 percent.

Kaspersky said it was able to identify some of the victims and notify them. It published a more complete report about xDedic here. The market place is located within the "deep web," meaning it's not discoverable by the major search engines. The site appeared to be down on Wednesday.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?