Cybercriminals are the new hit men. Why hire a hit man for your competitor when you can just hire a cybercriminal to hack into their business? Data breaches hurt people. Bad.
Well, except cybercrimals, of course. They are doing quite well financially.
The old school way
Traditional spamming and hacking is a numbers game. You send your virus of choice to millions of people via email, popups, drive-by downloads, etc. and hope a few thousand of them download your infected files. Then, if your intention is do more than crash the computer, you snoop around for information; but this is tedious work with no certainty of a pay out.
Don’t get us wrong, traditional spamming and hacking is as popular as ever, but the really good hackers have found a way to make guaranteed money. And we all need to take note.
New school: Hackers for hire
Hackers sell themselves like freelance workers online. If you have a job for them, they will hack for you – if you pay, of course. Prices for hiring a hacker vary widely and depend on everything from the hacker’s experience, to the difficulty of the job, to whether or not the job is legal.
Some of the jobs we have heard of are people wanting to steal competitors’ client lists, pricing strategies or strategic plans.
Not just for espionage
So far we have made hacking for hire sound like a James Bond or conspiracy movie, but that is not usually the case. The reality is similar to PIs; people think these hackers are sneaking around doing cool stuff, but most of the time they are sitting in their cars trying to hack into the WiFi of a potentially cheating spouse.
Seriously. That is why a lot of people are hiring cybercriminals. They want to check in on a spouse’s fidelity, get into their boyfriend’s email account or even gain access to school records.
The fact that even the tech-inept can find ways to hack your business (or personal life) should be just one more reason to beef up your security practices.