A little knowledge and a few thousand dollars is all it takes to build a
fully functional botnet, according to security experts.

Cisco researchers Patrick Peterson and Henry Stern told delegates at the 2010
RSA conference in San Francisco that a botnet running the infamous ZeuS malware
could be built for US$2,500 ($2,753.50).

ZeuS is primarily a data-gathering and botnet control tool, but has become
particularly loathed in the security community because it directly injects
content into pages and intercepts credentials before they are sent to legitimate

Making matters worse, the monetary and technical thresholds for running Zeus
are particularly low. Peterson and Stern said that a current version of Zeus can
be had for roughly US$700, while older versions can be obtained for free.

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