How Do Hackers Earn Money Read More

Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. It’s a known fact that how Do Hackers Earn Money makes money. And how do hackers carry out their internal dealings with one another so as not to step on each other’s toes? Much like the fine-tuned systems of mafias and gangs that act almost identically to businesses, hackers have also created their own extremely intricate systems — and the scale of their operations is astounding. Security researchers have been embedding themselves into these online underbellies to see precisely what’s going on. This way they can get an early look at the malware hackers are cooking up, while also learning just how the system works.

The information security company Trustwave has been doing just this for years. It now has a lot to show for it, including discovering how much money a hacking gang makes and how precisely the cybercrime ecosystem works. Trustwave’s VP of Security Research Ziv Mador has put together a presentation he gives to customers so they can get a better handle on how to protect themselves. As he put it, it’s just a “glance of what we find.

But Mador has given Business Insider an exclusive look at the wheeling and dealing of hackers inside this secretive world — check it out below. Forums — the online places where cybercriminals sell their goods. Forums are “The Craigslist of the underground forums,” explained Mador. You can see how they advertise malware they would like to sell to each other. It’s where hackers and hacking gangs hawk their goods including trojans, bots, and other malicious pieces of software. Mador explained that it’s “very difficult to get in” to these forums.

They require a lot of vetting and trust from other criminals. Exploit kits are the bread and butter for how cybercriminals successfully hack the masses. They are a malicious toolkit of various ways to deliver malware. Or, as Mador puts it, an “invisible web application that uses a cocktail of exploits. Exploit kits have become preferred by cybercriminals because of their heightened success rate. Here is a rundown of all the ingredients inside the exploit kit cocktail. These are the various malware cybercriminals have paid for, which they then distributed further to unsuspecting victims.

Now Mador turned our attention to a real-world example: A Russian hacking gang named RIG. Here we see how they advertise their exploit kits and what come with them. The advertisement is written in Russian, but Trustwave translated the important parts. For instance, RIG brags that its exploit has the “ability to exploit large volumes of traffic. The pricing of these exploit kits are based on rental fees. 500 may seem like a lot, but Mador assures us “it’s really not a big expense. RIG’s business model operates much like retail does, with a warehouse and resellers.

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Hackers were able to inject a porn site with a link to this ransom ware, and all of this costs money. When they get the payment traffic – while also learning just how the system works. But it’s also just interesting unto itself how these criminals operate services – this sort of information is what helps Trustwave learn how to protect its customers. Files transferred online often have certificates, security how Do Hackers Earn Money work fervently everyday to know what sort of malware hackers are how Do Hackers Earn Money, this was is a bit trickier to understand.

So a RIG manager sells the exploits both directly and to other resellers for a variety of prices. The resellers then also sell to other hackers, likely for a higher price. 90,000 a week from this one manager. The most common business model is that of RIG, which sells its exploits to other gangs who then sell them down the line. But a new model is emerging that has gangs selling directly to customers.

The catch is it has the customer share a certain percentage of their malware traffic. The share of traffic the buyer gives up depends on how much traffic they accrue. And the gang, when they get the payment traffic, can infect the victim with whatever malware they would like to use. Mador explained that this business model “makes a lot of sense. Buyers don’t have to put up any money to cooperate and the gangs rake in a lot of cash for any traffic caught.

At the same time, he adds that the rental system is still more prevalent. The malware Magnitude infected victims with when it got exploit traffic was called ‘ransomware. It follows a simple concept: If a victim is successfully infected, his or her computer files get encrypted, meaning that he or she loses all access to this data. Obviously, a victim would want to gain control of this data back, but it comes at a price.

Magnitude would ask the victims to pay using bitcoin. How much depended on whichever ransomware was used. But this form of cyberransom is extremely lucrative. This is one message a ransomware victim may see if his or her computer gets infected. This one is specific to porn sites. Hackers were able to inject a porn site with a link to this ransom ware, and then scare victims into thinking they were being extorted for looking at illegal sites. Instead, it was just a wiley way for hackers to convince the victims to pay up.