A lot of people have heard of computer rentals. If you are going on the road or heading to a trade show or convention and you need a computer, you can simply rent one. Whether it be a laptop, notebook or a full-fledged desktop system, renting a computer is easy. But, would you ever consider renting out your own computer to a complete stranger like computer rental companies do? Your answer is most likely no, however, hackers are making that nightmare a reality for some.
If a hacker needs a remote PC to fulfill his hacking needs, then all he has to do is turn to underground, invitation-only services that rent out computers owned by normal people like you and me who are completely oblivious to the fact that their simple home computer is being rented out for services that they probably don't want performed on it.
In a recent story from Krebs on Security, it was reported that the PC renters can pick and choose their "rentals" through extremely sophisticated systems. The author of the post tried one of these services and found an astonishing 4,100 computers available in 75 countries and a majority of the computers were located in the United States.
The author noted that he could look for a computer by searching for things like city, IP range, ISP and connection speed. The price was also very alarming. The price for this particular site was only $1 a day after paying an initial $150 fee.
If you happen to find out that your computer is being rented out to cyber-criminals, what do you do? Well, some of the victims in the Krebs on Security post enlisted the help of professional IT service providers. That seems to be your best bet if you are lucky enough to find out that your computer is at risk. Other than that, you just have to hope you are not a victim and pray that if you are, you find out before any serious damage is done.
Source: The Consumerist - Cyber Criminals Rent Out Unsuspecting Owners' PCs