A prominent marketplace for hacked servers is back online, after shutting down in June when it was outed by the software security firm Kaspersky Lab.
The marketplace, xDedic, allowed anyone to purchase access to servers for as little as $6. It had reportedly sold access to 70,000 servers when it disappeared last month, after a Kaspersky Labs report.
New reports from the company Digital Shadows say the site has resurfaced on the dark web.
The last xDedic marketplace was available on the open internet, but the new site is only visible with the Tor browser. It is said to be nearly identical to the original, but now requires a $50 registration fee.
The site’s owners have advertised the new site on a variety of hacker forums.
Buyers can take advantage of private data on a server or use it as offsite data storage. However, the biggest advantage of hijacked servers is to use in other attacks.
Hackers often use networks of co-opted computers called botnets to crash websites by flooding them with overwhelming traffic or bulk email spam. Servers provide greater resources for these efforts than mere personal computers or internet of things devices.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have advocated for botnet thwarting powers for law enforcement, as have proponents for changes to “Rule 41,” the code covering search and seizure. But critics note that the mechanism used to take down botnets would expand access to law enforcement hacking efforts.