Once upon a time, only computer geeks were smart enough to be cyber-criminals. Now, anyone with enough cash can become one. WebAttacker, CrimePack, IcePack and dozens of other do-it-yourself crime kits are available online for less than $1,000.
Some malicious software programs -- security researchers call them "exploit kits" or "attack toolkits" -- may cost as little as $100.

These applications allow even amateur hackers to steal passwords, financial information, and use their victims' computers to send spam, such as the bothersome "Canadian Pharmacy" program.

The hacker becomes a bot herder, controlling infected PCs like robots, with the freedom to install spyware and earn cash for the unsolicited messages they send.

An April report by M86 Security Labs finds that Russia is a major source of exploit kits, and the U.S. is a favorite target. They report one web site offers $170 for every 1000 computers infected.

Although security experts insist on the necessity of an up-to-date anti-virus program, it is not enough protection.

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