Hacking is one of the most common services offered on the internet, and it is normally illegal. While there are certain cases where it is legal to hire a hacker on their website, it is important to understand the legal and personal dangers of hiring a hacker online.
The internet can be a sketchy place and there are some shady people online. Some of the shadiest of these people are online hackers. There’s a reason why cyber security has become such an important business.
Hackers are everywhere and modern hackers often openly advertise their dubious services. But if you are thinking about hiring a hacker, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
What Is a Hacker?
In the past, hacking was a hobby for nerdy teenagers and college students. As a matter of fact, a collegiate computer club created one of the first computer viruses for fun, to see if it could be done.
Over time, as the world became more digital, hacking became more focused on criminal activity. Even today though, not all hackers are criminals. The anti-virus software mogul Norton considers anyone with sufficient knowledge of software and cyber security to be a hacker.
Hacking on the Dark Web
Hackers can usually be found only on the Dark Web and they normally expect their payment up front in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. While they will normally demand payment upfront because of the illegal nature of their business, some hackers will offer customers a refund if their hacking attempts fail.
There are marketplaces all over the dark web where you can purchase illegal goods and services. Some of the most common include drugs, weapons, contract killings, illegal pornography, and hacking. Hacking is an especially popular service to buy on the dark web.
Hiring a hacker over the dark web is dangerous however. You do not know the person you are hiring and they are most likely a serious criminal. The dark web is also full of scammers and you have no protection against these scams.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is the easiest place to hire black hat hackers, but what is the dark web exactly? Is it the same as the deep web? How are they different from the surface web? A lot of people have heard these terms, but not everyone understands them.
- The surface web is all of the information on the internet that can be accessed through a search engine. This includes social media, company and university websites, banks, and more.
- The deep web is information that cannot be directly accessed by search engines. Most of the information on the deep web is information that most people have no interest in seeing. This is information that can only be seen by people affiliated with certain companies, universities, governments, or organizations. Most of it is mundane and of little interest to hackers.
- The dark web is the place that is infamous for being a place where people can buy drugs, weapons, children, hitmen, hackers, and illegal pornography. Not everything on the dark web is illegal though and it is also used by people who want to remain anonymous, such as journalists, whistleblowers, and activists.
Hiring an Ethical Hacker
It’s also possible to hire a legal hacker on the surface web. There are websites on the surface web that let you hire professional hackers to perform specific tasks. When you hire them, you agree that you are not hiring them to do any sort of illegal work.
These hackers are typically hired to recover social media accounts. Another common job for ethical hackers is to hack into companies with their permission, to look for security flaws and errors in their website or cybersecurity system.
Types of Hackers
Norton considers anyone who is savvy with computer software and cyber security to be a potential hacker, and they classify hackers into three categories. These categories are black hat hackers, white hat hackers, and grey hat hackers.
Black Hat Hackers
These hackers are the stereotypical criminal hackers. They are responsible for creating malware, viruses, and spyware programs that slip past a computer’s security systems. This sort of activity is criminal and black hat hackers are usually motivated by financial gain and personal vendettas.
White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers refer to themselves as “ethical hackers” because they do not break the law when they hack. White hat hackers have permission from the people they are hacking, even if they use the same strategies as criminal hackers. They are normally hacking to help their “victims” discover bugs and flaws in their security systems.
Grey Hat Hackers
Grey hat hackers are a mixture of black and white hat hackers. These hackers operate like white hat hackers, with the ethics and motivation of black hat hackers. They search for bugs and security flaws, but they do not have permission and they normally blackmail their victims after a successful hacking.
Grey hat hackers will demand a ransom for finding the security flaws. If the ransom is not paid, the grey hat hackers will often sell this information to the world. Grey hat hacking is illegal.
What do Hackers Do?
Hackers who are hired to make personal attacks against individuals generally charge more for this service than for any other hacking service. Examples of these personal attacks can be spreading libelous claims, financial theft, and creating legal trouble for the other person. A common tactic used by hackers is to frame their victim of buying child pornography.
Another common service that hackers will offer is changing course grades for students. The common desire for higher grades makes this one of the most popular and expensive hacking services. Hackers will hack into schools of any grade level and some will even be able to obtain answers to future tests and exams.
You can also hire someone to hack into a website for you. On average it costs a little under $400 to pay someone to do this for you. Once they have gotten into the website, they can create all sorts of trouble.
For example, they can interfere with the web servers that host the website, mess with the administrative panel of the website, steal databases, and steal administrative information.
Like other forms of hacking, the motives for a website attack vary based on the hacker. They could do it for money, for revenge, to spread disinformation, for political purposes, or they could simply do it as a way to prank the people or groups running the website they are hacking.
DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack
DDOS attacks are startlingly cheap. For just 25$ an hour, you can pay for a five minute DDOS attack against a server. For around $400, you can disrupt that server’s traffic for an entire day. DDoS attacks are one of the most common forms of cyber attack on the internet, according to Norton.
In short, a DDoS attack is when hackers attempt to crash a website by flooding it with an overwhelming amount of web traffic. It is particularly common for hackers to extort websites with low-level DDoS attacks, with the promise to increase the strength and severity of the attacks if the victim does not agree to pay a cryptocurrency ransom.
Digital Bank Heist
You can hire a hacker online to rob a bank for you. In exchange for breaking into a private bank account, the hacker takes a cut of the money that you are stealing. Because of the high risk nature of bank robbery, hackers will likely take a larger cut of accounts with small balances than they will from large accounts.
Stealing Rewards Points
Did you know that you can hire a hacker to steal customer loyalty rewards points from someone else? You can. The cost of this will depend on who you are stealing from and how many rewards points/frequent flier miles you are intending to steal.
Hacking Social Media
You can also hire someone to hack into a social media account. This can be someone you know personally or a famous person you don’t like. Hackers offering these services generally will charge a fee of at least $129.
It is also common for people to hire ethical hackers to hack into their own social media accounts that they no longer have access to.
This could be an account that was stolen from them from a previous time when they were hacked themselves, it could be because they have lost their log-on information, or any other reasons why a person no longer has access to their old social media accounts.
Hacking into Corporate Emails
In addition to social media, you can also hire someone to hack into corporate email accounts. While hacking into personal email accounts is usually the same price as hacking social media, hacking corporate accounts is much riskier and much more expensive.
SecureWorks quotes the average price for hacking into a corporate email account at around $500.
Cell Phone Hacking
There are also ways to directly hack into people’s cell phones. This will usually cost you around $21 a month. There are shady apps that you can use to monitor someone’s android phone usage. The problem is that you have to physically have the person’s phone in hand in order to install the malicious software on their phone.
By hiring a hacker, you don’t have to do this. With a hacker, you can hire them to remotely access the person’s phone and install the spyware apps that will let you monitor that person’s phone indefinitely.
It is important to note that some cell phones are harder to hack than others.
Androids are often considered less secure than iPhones because Android phones use an open-source code, while Apple devices operate in a closed ecosystem. Apple users should still be wary because it is still possible to hack into an iPhone, it is just harder to hack into an iPhone than it is to hack into an android.
Legally Hacking Social Media
Believe it or not, there are ways that you can legally hack social media. Facebook has a “Bug Bounty” program where they pay hackers to hack into their website and then report any bugs that they find to Facebook. This helps make Facebook a more secure site.
How Much Does a Hacker Cost?
The price of hiring a hacker varies based on what you are expecting the hacker to do. More complicated and dangerous hacking jobs that are time consuming will obviously cost a lot more money than simple jobs that can be done in twenty minutes.
In general, most professional hackers will charge at least a couple of hundred dollars for serious hacking jobs that they perform.
How Effective Are Hackers?
The effectiveness of hackers depends on their skills, and how seriously their target takes cyber security. A target with a well maintained cyber security system, VPN, firewall, and anti-malware software will be much harder to hack than someone who never updates their computer and doesn’t use any protection at all.
The effectiveness of a hacker also depends largely on the skill of the hacker themselves. This is one of the reasons why it is risky to hire a hacker over the dark web. There is no guarantee that the person you are hiring has the skills necessary to complete the job that you are hiring them to do.
In the age of the internet, it is pretty easy to hire a hacker on the dark web. You can even find hackers to hire on the surface web. While hacking is not necessarily a crime, the term does have a serious negative connotation to it.
You can hire legal hackers on the surface web, but most if not all of the hackers who lurk on the dark web are criminals. Hiring these illegal hackers is a crime in and of itself.
Beyond the legal problems that can come with hiring a hacker off of the dark web, there are other issues that you should be aware of before you attempt this.
The anonymity of the dark web means that you do not know who you are talking to, and you have no protection against people who are trying to scam you. Additionally, by engaging with these criminal hackers, you are exposing yourself to possibly being hacked by them.