These days you don’t have to dive too deeply into the depths of the dark web to find hackers. They are actually easy to find. In this guide, you will learn how you can employ a professional hacker and discover platforms where you can find a hacker for hire in 2019.
What is Hacking?
Hacking generally refers to activities that seek to compromise a computer or network. Hacking can also be defined as the process of identifying weaknesses in a computer system or network with the aim of exploiting it to gain access.
While hacking may not always be for malicious purposes, currently, most people view hacking as an unlawful activity by cybercriminals who are motivated by greed, financial gain, espionage, etc.
Ethical hacking is the act of penetrating a network or system to identify any threats or vulnerabilities in those systems, which a malicious hacker may find and exploit, resulting in loss of data, financial loss, and other damages. The goal of ethical hacking is to enhance the security of a system or network, by fixing the weaknesses exposed during the test.
Types of Hackers
There are two main factors that determine how to classify a hacker; their motives and the legality of their actions. Hackers can, therefore, be categorised into so-called “black hat hackers” and “white hat hacker.”
Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers are behind the development of malware that is frequently used to infiltrate computer networks and systems. The hackers range from amateurs to highly experienced individuals seeking to dispense malware and steal personal and financial information.
Black hat hackers are usually motivated by personal and financial gain, but can also participate in spying, protests or carry out hacking activities for their own enjoyment. Depending on the hacker’s motives, once a target has been infiltrated, a black hat hacker will either manipulate, steal or destroy the system data.
White Hat Hackers
White hat or ‘ethical hackers’ are often hired by institutions or companies as specialists, who find vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. Ethical hackers deploy similar methods to those of black hat hackers, but with the approval from the system administrators, making their actions legal.
Some of the strategies implemented by ethical hackers include vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and the monitoring of existing security protocols.
How to Hire a Professional Ethical Hacker
If you are looking to hire a professional hacker, there are two options you can consider. You can typically hire an ethical hacker or train one of your existing staff members.
Hiring an ethical hacker does not necessarily mean stalking the dark web and bartering with bitcoin. These days you can choose from a rich pool of qualified professional hackers, complete with qualifications such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. However, before you take that step there are few things you have to consider.
To begin with, you must be clear on who exactly you are looking to hire. The candidate should have the right expertise, as well as the drive and passion for his profession. The hacker should also have your organisation’s best interests as a priority, and not pose any conflict of interest to you.
The ethical hacker must be able to address your exact needs as well as anticipate your future needs. You can gauge the depth of a potential hacker’s skill by asking questions like, “Do we need a web app security review?” or “Do we require an external intrusion test?”
If you have an in-house ethical hacker or are considering training someone from your staff, then hiring a consultant to supplement your security efforts may be a smart move.
Another consideration will be to figure out the terms of engagement for any hacker you bring on board. The terms should cover issues like hiring and termination policies, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete arrangements, communication protocols, and any other measures designed to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information to outside parties.
Interestingly, you can hire an ethical hacker online for as low as five dollars in platforms such as Fiverr. However, when hiring a professional hacker, a lot will depend on the funds you have at your disposal. According to INFOSEC, the average ethical hacker payout per year is $71,331. While it seems substantial, consider the fact that the average data breach in 2018 costs over $3.8 million, making it a worthwhile investment.
If you do not have a budget or management approval to hire a professional hacker, you can recruit an initial ‘penetration tester’ to guide you on how to go about securing your systems.
Where Can You Find Ethical Hackers?
To help you find ethical hackers that can improve your cyber security, we have compiled a short list of platforms and companies where you can find their services.
Dedicated Ethical Hacking Companies
Alternatively, you can hire a cyber security company if you require full-service cyber security solutions for your business.
Black Hat Hackers for Hire
In a 2016 Dell’s SecureWorks infographic, it was discovered underground marketplaces were booming because of hackers expanding their services, guaranteeing their work, and extending their hours in a bid to rope in clients. Initially, black hat hackers operated exclusively on the dark web, but their services are so in demand that broadcasting them has become common.
Nowadays, hiring a black hat hacker is now as simple as searching through Google search results. Some normal sites even openly advertise services of questionable legality, including unauthorised access to mobile phones, email accounts, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, and more.
These hackers work anonymously with bitcoin being the preferred mode of payment in most cases. Nevertheless, law enforcement agencies in most countries are clamping down on these illicit activities. In 2018 alone, the U.S Department of Justice shut down 15 domains that were selling DDoS attacks and advertising them as stress tests.
Subsequently, the FBI introduced a new measure aiming to prosecute hacking service providers and their clients, as a deterrent against the illegal trade.
That being said, the market outlook for ethical hacking services seems promising and will be even more valuable as companies continue outsourcing to freelancers. The growth of marketplaces advertising ethical hacking services has made it easier for people to venture into the world of hackers for hire, and see if they can make an honest living.
Companies are also taking the initiative and offering ‘bug bounties’ to ethical hackers, who can identify vulnerabilities in their systems and report them. These legal programmes, offered by companies such as Apple and Google, can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars as a reward for finding a single weakness.
These examples illustrate that the demand for ethical hackers is expanding at an unprecedented rate and will, in the long run, create profitable opportunities for hackers for hire.
Disclaimer: Hiring a black hat hacker to gain access to an individual’s or a company’s computer systems is a crime. Bitcoin Africa Ltd. does not condone criminal behaviour.