The Blackhole, Sweet Orange and Cool exploit kits are the cyber black markets best-selling tools, according to research by Finnish security firm F-Secure.
F-Secure reported on Thursday that Blackhole, Sweet Orange and Cool currently account for 56 percent of the exploit market.
The Blackhole is the most used accounting 27 percent of the market, followed by Sweet Orange with 18 percent and Cool with 11 percent.
The Finnish firm discovered the trend by tracking the top used exploit kits' activities over the last few months.
F-Secure senior analyst Sean Sullivan told V3 the three exploit kits' success was as much due to their author's business savvy as their effectiveness.
"Blackhole and Cool are related. Cool has a much higher per-month rental price as it uses zero-days. Blackhole has relatively fresh exploits, but for known vulnerabilities. Its provider is the market leader," Sullivan told V3..
"Sweet Orange is the up and comer. Its ads promise better results. Years ago, there were very popular kits that couldn't scale with success and the developers ended up retiring/quitting. The success of Blackhole/Cool et al has been its ability to scale to ‘enterprise' levels of service."
Exploit kit market share. Source: F-Secure
Criminals' use of exploit kits to mount automated cyber scams has been a growing problem in Europe.
Most recently Trend Micro's chief technology officer Raimund Genes warned that criminals have begun using the tools to mount more dangerous targeted attacks.
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