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A Russian 'cybergangster' speaks

In an Internet interview, a programmer says increased media attention may force the MPack project to shut down.

In an interview posted on SecurityFocus, a person identifying himself as "DCT" denied that there is a cybergang responsible for creating the MPack tool, a package of malicious software responsible for the latest wave of PC compromises.

"We are just a group of people working together, but doing some illegal business," he said. He also denied any contact with real-world Russian criminals. He said the "Dream Coders Team" (DCT) consists of three people, plus a few other freelancers. The developers are all Russian, while the others are from various countries. He said $ash, an individual often mentioned in association with the selling of the MPack tool, is not one of the three but more of a "marketing director."

The MPack tool is a package of malicious exploits that allow online criminals to compromise PCs. To carry out an attack a user is directed to a site containing a malicious link. The browser then follows that link to a server hosting MPack. The tool then scans the browser for known vulnerabilities and attempts to exploit one for the purpose of compromising the machine. The machine can then be used for identity theft or as a part of a larger botnet.

DCT said that all the publicity surrounding the recent MPack attacks had increased interest in sales of the tool. However, it has also drawn the attention of law enforcement. "In Russia there is a law which forbids (malicious software) creation tools like MPack, (but) we secure our systems to the best possible extent, so that even a police officer would not be able to get the PCs analyzed," said DCT. Despite these precautions, he said that "we will have to shut down the project soon."