Photo: Studio Prostock (Shutterstock)
Unprecedented layoffs put tens of thousands of highly skilled computer geniuses out of work, but there seems to be one place they can always turn to if they’re really desperate: the dark web! Recent report from the security company Kaspersky reveals that some job offers on the dark web crime forums offer absurdly competitive salaries and very good bonuses on top of that.
“Cybercriminals need a team of professionals with specific skills to infiltrate an organization’s infrastructure, steal sensitive data, or encrypt a system for later extortion,” write the researchers at Kaspersky Lab. The most generous employers, who tend to be known hacker gangs, have even been known to offer six-figure salaries, “paid vacation, paid sick days” and “friendly staff” as bonuses for work. . Wow, it’s like Google!
I’m joking, of course, but security researchers find that many cybercriminal groups actually operate in the same way as traditional businesses. In particular, data leak Last year, Conti, who is linked to a ransomware gang, revealed that hackers have everything from HR and customer support to Employee of the Month awards and performance ratings. The Kaspersky Lab study also shows that cybercriminal gangs, like startups, need to fill many different roles in order for their criminal enterprises to run smoothly.
One vacancy featured in its entirety in the Kaspersky Lab report is not much different from what you’ll find on LinkedIn:
We are looking for someone to join our team to oversee basic administrative duties and recruiting. Salary ranges from $5,000 to $8,500 per month in cryptocurrency. Must be able to code and have web development experience as some of your administrative duties will include development. Must be motivated and 100% committed to the team
G/O Media may receive a commission
Of the thousands of job postings the researchers reviewed for their report, a significant percentage were web designers, IT administrators, and data analysts; about 16%, meanwhile, were for “attackers,” i.e. hackers who help gangs infiltrate networks. However, the vast majority of job postings – about 61% of them – were for developer and programmer positions. These positions appear to be the highest paid, with reverse engineers typically earning up to $4,000 a month with bitcoin or other anonymous crypto payments. The researchers write that developers’ salaries can range from $10,000 to $20,000 a month, which puts the lucky darknet dwellers in the top 15% of American workers.
However, it appears that most cybercriminals make a lot less, likely earning an amount comparable to a part-time scammer in the legitimate world. Researchers note that…
There can be several reasons for people to go to a dark site in search of a job. Many are attracted by the expectation of easy money and large financial gains. Most of the time it’s just an illusion. The salaries offered on the dark web are rarely much higher than what you can legally earn. In addition, the level of pay depends on your experience, talent and willingness to put your energy into work. However, dissatisfied with their pay, a significant percentage of workers in the legal economy quit their jobs to find similar jobs on the darknet market…
Financial desperation can also drive people to turn to cybercrime, the researchers note, providing screenshots of a dark web user who, at the height of the 2020 pandemic, apparently wrote: “My family is in quarantine due to the coronavirus. [sic]… I’m looking for a job to earn some money and help us for at least a month… since we can’t go out… no one can work.
Disclaimer: As the title of this article suggests, we hope that we at Gizmodo are not actually encouraging readers to engage in cybercrime. In addition to moral and ethical considerations, computer crimes can bring you a lot of time. behind bars– which is objectively worse than being fired.