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“Hackers for Hire” Is a Rising Industry That Demands Ethical Considerationsby@craiglebrau
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“Hackers for Hire” Is a Rising Industry That Demands Ethical Considerations

by Craig LebrauSeptember 6th, 2022
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The cost of hiring a hacker can go up to thousands of dollars for a well-executed hack. White hat hackers from freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork can probe your security, whether on your website or credentials you use online, because the best way to hide or protect yourself from a criminal is to know how they think. Facebook offers rewards of up to $40,000 USD for any hacker clever enough to spot bugs. Some freelance hackers will attempt to hack into companies that they aren’t already working with, just to show them the vulnerabilities in their systems and offer to fix them.

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When you think of a hacker, a man in a Guy Fawkes mask comes to mind. The face of rebellion, a rebel working to dismantle capitalism, but the fact is like many media perpetuated ideas, hackers aren't what you see on the TV or exactly like the sensationalized hackers in the news. It’s true that many data leaks were caused by hackers and they are responsible for lots of cybercrime, but hackers can also be beneficial to society at large. In fact, ethical hackers are in such high demand that the cost of hiring a hacker can go up to thousands of dollars for a well-executed hack. 

You can also get hackers at $5 an hour, but it really depends on what the hacker is expected to do. White hat hackers from freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork can probe your security, whether on your website or credentials you use online, because the best way to hide or protect yourself from a criminal is to know how they think. 

Hackers have also been known to expose cheating spouses, change your college grades, or gain access to someone’s personal cell phone. 

It’s a risky business, but business is business, even if it may sometimes fall between the gray areas of right and wrong. 

The Black and the Questionable

There are hacking sites openly advertising their services from draining bank accounts to hacking someone’s social media account. According to advertisements on the internet, the fees for these criminal services can be as cheap as $10 USD. 

SecureWorks reported that in the event a hacker is hired to drain an online bank account, they will have to pay the hacker a small percentage of the total amount that they get. 

Obtaining unauthorized access to any social media account would get the buyer back an average of $129 USD. 

While hiring a hacker is not illegal per se, if you hire a hacker to do something illegal, then you will be implicated in the crime and can become convicted if caught. 

Facebook actually offers rewards of up to $40,000 USD for any hacker clever enough to spot bugs. Their Bug Bounty program is widely known and winners have been sent to DEFCON as well as received a monetary reward. 

Aside from the social media behemoth, there are certain antivirus companies like Kaspersky that can be paid to launch attacks on various websites in order to test the strength of their security. 

Hackers can also be a part of a company’s security team whereby their job is to simply try to hack into their company’s mainframe and then patch up the security problems. Some freelance hackers will attempt this on companies that they aren’t already working with, just to show them the vulnerabilities in their systems and offer to fix them - these are called gray hat hackers, as opposed to the white hat hackers which are officially recruited by the company themselves. But the key difference between a gray hat hacker and a black hat hacker is the fact that they do not have any malicious intent. If the company rejects their services, they will not try to blackmail them unlike what black hat hackers would do. 

The Gray and Murky Areas

What if you were scammed and only a hacker can track down the scammer or funnel the funds that were taken from you back into your account? Is that considered fraud or a crime, if you were just taking back what was stolen from you? 

Hackers do help their clients to be free from blackmail and to recover what was stolen from them by stealing it back. While it might not be considered legal, if the original criminal is unable to press charges on the grounds that he or she does not wish to reveal themselves, then who would be any the wiser? The authorities will have one less case to bother themselves with and the victim will have recovered that which was lost. 

Hackers can also be used to take down pictures or videos quickly and effectively, without having to go through the usual official channels, which is why sometimes criminals are able to be more efficient than authorities, because they simply do not have any official black and white regulations policing them and they do not need to report to a higher up.

At the end of the day, there are a few clear cut definitions of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to hiring a hacker, but there are also some murky areas that may make it okay to use their illicit services. Though regardless of what you are planning to hire a hacker for, it will always be done at your own risk, because they are hackers after all and if they felt up to it, they could use the information you gave them and turn it against you.