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Monday, 29 April 2013

The baddest dudes on the Internet

The baddest dudes on the Internet

Russian Business Network might sound innocuous, but believe me, they are very bad dudes. Russian Business Network could be described as the I.T. department of the Russian mob. They use the Internet to commit their crimes, which include: identity theft, child porn, phising, spamming, scamming, hacking, cracking, malware, viruses, Trojans, etc. The lists go on and on…
The Russian Business disappeared around 2007 / 2008 but some experts don’t believe that they are entirely gone.
This is their story.

Emblem of the Russian Business Network

Who or what was the Russian Business Network? 

Headquarters for the Russian Business Network
Alleged home of the RBN in St. Petersburg, Russia.
 The Russian Business Connection (RBN) was an organisation that provided webhosting, Internet related services and tools to aid their customers. It does not sound too bad; unfortunately their customer’s main goal was to rob your ass blind.

The main service they provided was ‘Bulletproof webhosting’. For around $600 a month you could host anything on their servers. Anything.

Their servers were rife with porn, child porn, scam sites, phishing sites and other undesirable stuff.

Normal Internet Service Providers would take down illegal content the second that it is brought under their intention. The RBN did not give a shit what you were doing as long as you paid them.

They would even sell you the tools and services that you needed to operate your scam site. The services included mailing lists, malware for your website, access to bot-nets, spam blasts, etc.

But so what if some dude in Russia is running a scam site in Russia? I don’t surf Russian websites. The problem is they don’t wait for you to come to them. They come to you.


Take a quick look at your spam folder. If you are Internet savvy you hardly pay any attention to the emails here.

However, not everybody got your shit-spotting skills and some people actually fall for this. Emails that promise you easy money, easy girls, etc. leads to websites that are dirtier than the dumpsters behind a stripclub.

The website might look legit but while you are browsing around, hidden scripts on the site are trying every grubby trick to install software on your computer. We commonly refer to this type of software as malware or Trojan horses.

Once the bastard is on your computer, the malware opens a backdoor on your computer and signals its masters that a new disciple has joined the cult.

What does it mean to have a backdoor open on your computer?

Let me explain via the way of metaphor.

It is little Billie's first time in a jail shower, the soap slips and Billie bends over to pick up the soap. Billy is your computer. The big hairy guy called Bubba moving in behind Billy is the RBN.

I would explain further using Billy as a metaphor, but I think you get the idea.

After opening a backdoor on your computer a number of things can happen. How about installing a key stroke logger to get some of your usernames and passwords? They will make your machine part of a botnet. Now your computer is sending out spam mails for them!


Another nifty way to help you part with your identity and / or cash is to infect a website that you already know and trust.

During 2007 hackers placed some malicious code on the Bank of India website. The code directed the user's browser to some RBN servers that silently installed keystroke loggers on their computers.
When logging on to your online bank account, you seriously don't want someone to be logging your keystrokes. (Once again, I refer you to Lil' Billie)


RBN's primary concern is stealing your stuff, but they have also tried their hands at cyber terrorism. Disagree with Russia and they will mess up your country.

During 2008 Georgia mentioned something about breaking away from Russia and governing themselves. That did not sit too well with the Russia and the RBN.

They hacked the website of the Georgian government and replaced the photos of the president with photos of the president in similar poses as Hitler, because you know, people talking about freedom and peace must obviously be Nazis.

Freedom loving facist.

The situation deteriorated and soon the Russian army started marching on Georgia. In sync with the Russian army the RBN used the vast botnets at their disposal to launch massive denial of service attacks on the Internet infrastructure of Georgia. The attack killed Georgia's Internet and halted most electronic communication.

It is speculated that the RBN and the Russian government worked together to launch the cyber-attack on Georgia.

This brings us to the question - If they commit their crimes so openly why did the Russian government not do anything to stop them? The crimes they commit were always outside the borders of Russia and they probably paid a few handsome bribes to officials. One rumour suggests that a highly placed RBN member had an uncle in politics.

These days the Russian Business Network is not as active as they used to be, but experts think it is because they are keeping a lower profile and moved most of their business to China.

According another conspiracy theory* some of the top hackers have been hired by big corporations as security consultants. But that’s ridiculous, stuff like this does not happen in real life. It doesn’t, right?

*This one is hearsay; I don’t have a source to back it up.

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