With the help of online tools, becoming a hacker isn’t really that hard, and those teaching the trade have happened upon quite a lucrative business opportunity.
The data from a new report, released on Tuesday (April 5) by security company Dell SecureWorks, shows that business is booming for the underground hacker marketplace, where illegal vendors provide the tools and goods needed to enable malicious schemes and cybercriminal activities, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the report, advertisements — ranging from “DDOS attacks for as low as $5 USD an hour” to “Online tutorials from $20 USD that cover DDOS attacks, cracking Wi-Fi, Crypters and much more” — are just a sample of the offerings posted across the underground marketplace, which it describes as growing bigger, more sophisticated and competitive.
The intelligence analysts found that malware is becoming “much cheaper and continues to offer a low barrier to entry for cybercriminals looking to steal information,” posing an even greater threat to unsuspecting groups, consumers, private organizations and the government.
WSJ said the findings are fueling the growing concerns about the the escalating hacker-for-hire market, which provides an all-access pass, for the right price, to the products and services that can allow almost anyone to facilitate an ever-growing list of illicit crimes.
From tutorials to “free-trial attacks,” the report shows that hackers are now acting more like regular businesses, with some even offering 24/7 customer service, WSJ reported.
But this isn’t the first we’ve heard of hackers turning their treacherous activities into yet another money-maker.
Last year, the hacker group known as Lizard Squad reportedly launched a new business venture that allows anyone to join its security-breaching ways for a low monthly cost. The subscription service, known as LizardStresser, allows subscribers to obtain a distributed denial-of-service attack tool often used to take down a website’s server by overloading it with requests.
The group was supposedly offering LizardStresser for packages between $6 and $130 a month, depending on how long customers wish to take down a site. Lifetime packages are also available, ranging from $30 to $500, though Lizard Squad notes that, in this case, a “lifetime” means five years, as that’s how long the hacker tool will reportedly exist.