In the age of digital extortion and ransomware, hackers for hire are as common as criminals on the street. These mercenaries are hired by businesses and individuals to spy on rivals, steal customer financial information or take down websites in denial-of-service attacks. While the most common clients of hacker-for-hire services are businesses, some individuals use them for personal gain.
Is it legal to hire a hacker?
On the dark web, hackers for hire offer their services on online marketplaces that are anonymous and rely on crypto assets as payment. The marketplaces often include a range of services, including tracking someone’s location, accessing an email account or stealing passwords. Most of these services can be completed within 24 hours. The marketplaces also advertise more targeted attacks, such as stealing specific information from an email inbox or placing a “kompromat” file on a victim that could result in legal trouble. Comparitech identified a service that offered to “hack into a friend’s account and monitor all their incoming and outgoing emails.”
While the services of hackers for hire are available, there are also risks involved with hiring these freelancers. Depending on the type of job you need, it may be difficult to find an experienced hacker. And if you’re hiring someone to break into your organization’s systems, it’s important to have clearly defined goals and to set up milestones that you can use to assess their work.
Ultimately, hiring hackers for hire can be an expensive and risky proposition. The escalation of threats can potentially harm your professional and personal life, lead to costly litigation and, in the worst cases, compromise your safety.