Do you have the required skills to work for cybercriminals?

Criminal gangs seek to recruit people with advanced computer skills

According to network security specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security, cybercriminals gangs are always looking for people capable for deploying intimidation, threat, harassment, and extortion and cyberattack campaigns against various services, platforms and users. Last November, for example, a group of hackers known as ‘The Dark Overlord’ began circulating an ad through various hacking forums; “Do you want to get rich? Join us”, the ad mentioned.

The Dark Overlord is a renowned cybercriminals group focused primarily on data theft and extortion of thousands of victims. This gang is just one of countless criminal hacker groups that keep using multiple darknet forums to recruit new members and continue selling stolen data, extortion and attack on websites.

Network management and programming skills

According to network security experts, The Dark Overlord is recruiting hackers with at least 10 years of experience in specific areas, such as application design and network management on Windows and Linux systems, as well as programming in the most used languages.

“You must have at least 10 years of experience in network management or programming, this requirement is not negotiable”, mentions the announcement of the group of hackers. “We do not accept freelancers; you must prove at least 5 years of experience working in a cooperative environment. In addition, you should be able to provide innovative approaches to our regular activities,” concludes the announcement.

The criminal group offers its new full-time employees a monthly salary close to $65k USD, with the possibility of increasing to $90k USD after two years of work, as reported by the network security experts.

Higher salaries for multilingual hackers

Malicious hackers with multilingual communication and programming skills could get better payments. According to the announcement, The Dark Overlord would pay an extra 5% to the salaries or commissions of hackers with additional language domain, especially German, Arabic and Chinese.

Diversifying dissemination methods

Criminal organizations like The Dark Overlord are not only looking for individuals with advanced computer skills and knowledge. Such groups also need to recruit staff to cover positions that do not require the least knowledge of hacking; some people, for example, are recruited to deploy propaganda outside the darknet (using graffiti, for example) to disseminate information about Telegram groups, key names for drug and weapon sales forums, among other activities.

Other non-specialized works for which cybercriminals require personnel is data entering and manual CAPTCHA solution.

Although to a lesser extent than a job as a hacker, these jobs can be very lucrative, especially for students or young people without occupation. In countries like Ukraine, for example, a job as a CAPTCHA solver is close to $150 USD a month, much higher than the scholarship of an average of $60 USD per month that Ukrainian students can apply for.

Despite the risks of enrolling in this kind of activity, there are many people willing to collaborate with cybercrime. According to a report by cybersecurity specialists, three of the four hacker vacancies that the Dark Overlord announced were covered only a few days after the ad was published.