Need to hire a hacker? The Dark Net has you covered.

Need to hire a hacker? The Dark Net has you covered.

CultureJanuary 05, 2015

Ever find yourself asking, "Who's dick do I have to suck to contract a skilled and discreet computer hacker up in this place?" Same here. But where do contracted hackers even come from, and how do you get in touch with them when you need to hack the mainframe of your job's accounting website so you can add a couple zeros to your paycheck?

It used to be that you found them in dingy YMCA basements covered in pizza and hentai zines, but today, they've abandoned their usual haunts and taken up residence on the much-famed Dark Net, where they're waiting with bated computer breath for you to hire them. 

The Dark Net, children, is a perverse cavity of the internet that exists within the greater sphere of the Deep Web. But whereas the Deep Web primarily consists of sites unindexed by search engines like libertarian UFO hunting blogs and the original 1996 Space Jam website, the Dark Net contains illegal activity of the strictly sinister sect.

Activity such as contracted hacking for example.

And because it's accessed primarily with the anonymizing Tor browser, the Dark Net protects both hackers and hacker-hirers from the watchful eyes of Uncle Sam, meaning your search for the perfect Sony-hacker extraordinaire is likely to be untraceable. The ongoing debate over the origin of the Sony hack is a testament on how difficult it to determine where hacks come from, or where they can be requested. Was it North Korea? Maybe. Was it some kid whose screen name is IlluminatiFairy69? Who knows. That's the beauty of the Dark Net hacker game.

And as for what kinds of services these hackers-for-hire offer ... it's basically whatever you can pay for. Take the SpyEye Trojan botnet creation kit, for example. As the International Business Times reports, "The sophisticated tool used to infiltrate consumers and businesses alike was developed by Aleksander Panin, a 24-year-old Russian hacker who the FBI alleges sold the technology to 150 clients (one of whom may have stolen $3.2 million) at a price ranging from $1,000 to $8,500 depending on the version. The malware ultimately infected 1.4 million computers, prosecutors alleged, but only after Panin used the Dark Net to spread the word that his nefarious service was for sale."

Other services of Dark Net hackers include espionage, DDoS attacks, stealing back seized websites from the FBI, facilitating identity and credit card fraud, and leaking compromising photos and videos, a la Nudegate 2014. And we're sure they'd have no problem hacking your girlfriend's Facebook account to search for traces of conversation with that guy Steve she's always talking about.

There are even very conspicuous Dark Net sites like Rent-A-Hacker that makes your contracting of illicit activities even easier. Rent-A-Hacker, it seems, is a place where visitors can pay to simply break into a rival’s Facebook account, launch a distributed denial of service attack or have someone wrongfully arrested. It just depends how much you're willing to pay.

This is all very, very profitable for both the hackers themselves and the people who organize relationships between hackers contractors ... not to mention anyone who conducts or facilitates business on the Dark Net. Data from multiple FBI investigations has revealed that you can make millions of dollars a year being shady on the Dark Net.

Case-in-point? Prosecutors confiscated $28.5 million in bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht, the accused founder of the original Silk Road drug marketplace, and say that his predecessor Blake Benthall, the suspect behind the Silk Road 2.0, earned $8 million per month simply by linking buyers and sellers then taking a percentage of the sale.

But Silk Road crack isn't the only profitable sector on the Dark Net. Illegal sellers attracting customers looking to invest in malware code that makes it possible for them to rip off even the most trusted retailers are also making bank off the business. Targeted attacks can cost thousands of dollars, which is good news for you if you've spent a majority of your waking life avoiding sunlight and compulsively manipulating 1s and 0s. The only problem is that transactions take place using cryptocurrency like bitcoins, which you still, frustratingly, can't use to pay for your dinner at Olive Garden. And to think this is 2015.

But hackers-for-hire aren't the only nefarious characters lurking on the Dark Net. This special dusty corner of the internet also houses a staggering amount of child pornography peddlers and multimillionaire drug lords, all of whom are ready and willing to indulge your most antisocial of sins.

More than four out of every five people who use Tor’s hidden services were traveling to pedophilia-related websites, according to a new research study obtained by Wired. Years of investigations by the Crimes Against Children Research Center have unveiled a disturbing bounty of hidden peer-to-peer networks that make it possible for sex offenders to trade and discuss child porn without being detected. Sometimes, potential participants on these networks may even be forced to contribute new pornographic material in order to join a conversation threat or trading ring.

But, it's not like authorities aren't catching on to hacker rental sites, child porn underworlds, and online narcotic empires. The destruction of the Silk Road and the identification of Aleksander Panin are clear signs that some of the most notorious Dark Net sites will be seized and shut down soon. 

So if you're looking for someone to help you hack into your Dad's hedge fund so you can fuel your expensive French Bulldog collecting habit, you'd better get on this shit quick.