The underbelly of the web is vast and scary. Knowing the right search terms can lead down a rabbit hole of illicit offerings.
While it’s well-known that the dark web offers black market marketplaces for things like drugs and firearms, so too are there places where hackers offer up their skills for a fee. These hackers-for-hire offer a wide-ranging menu of services, many of which are likely not legal.
Here’s are some of the unsavoury services we discovered and how much they generally went for.
Most hackers for hire are found on Reddit-like forums. There are a bunch of them, and you have to know where to look. But these hackers remain anonymous, offering certain services, and demand decentralized payment.
One post on an underground hacking forum claims it will 'Website hack or ddos. Paying well.' The poster explained that they wanted a WordPress-built website down. While this person would not provide reasons, he or she did add that the bounty was as much as '2k euro.'
On this same forum you can find a post for a downloadable tool called Facebook Hacker, which lets users hack into Facebook accounts. It claims that it can 'hack any Facebook,' using 'multiple methods of hacking.' People responding to this thread claimed the service worked.
One popular hacker offering involves boosting Yelp ratings. Many offer services for posting positive Yelp reviews for a price. They can go as low as $US3 a pop. Other, more savvy individuals say they have figured out how to remove bad reviews. Some hackers even offer months-long services for a set fee. They say they will continually post good reviews, post bad reviews on competitors, and ensure that no bad reviews show up on a business' page. These programs can cost as much as $US350.
There's a more public website called HackersList, which allows anonymous users to post hacking projects they want fulfilled. The projects range in price and ability, and most go unfilled as public hacking markets seem very suspicious. But a few projects appear to have been filled. For instance, one user asked for a hacked Gmail account. This project closed with a $US90 bid.
Another post on HackersList requested help accessing a Facebook account. The description for the project is somewhat amusing; 'I need to get into a facebook page. Long short of it is i have to know whats going on and I have no other choice (sic).' This plea successfully closed with a $US350 bid.
Earlier this year Hilton reportedly admitted that its rewards program HHonors had been vulnerable to a breach which potentially put many members' passwords and PINs at risk. Even though Hilton reportedly patched the problem and urged all customers to change their passwords, hackers are still offering ways to hack into HHonors member accounts and steal their points. While individual accounts go for as little as $US3, some hackers have set up configurations to crack into multiple accounts. These go for about $US15.
One of the easiest things to find online are hacked Netflix accounts. You can find numerous postings on a number of hacking forums hawking individual Netflix credentials. They go for about $US1.25 a pop. A site called PayIvy recently made headlines when hackers put their loot on the PayIvy marketplace, getting payed anonymously via PayPal. While many hacked Netflix accounts are still available on PayIvy, the company claims that it will scrub all illegal content from its marketplace later this month.
Crypting is an age-old service offered by hackers. It takes a piece of malware, checks if it can be detected by antivirus tools, and then encrypts the file until it becomes virtually undetectable. In short, it's a service to make a malware as destructive as possible. Hacker forums are filled with crypting service threads. One hacker offered to crypt files for $US5 each, or $US8 for two.