Hackers For Hire

Thanks to a new website, the business of hacking is expanding its reach beyond the FBI, CIA, NSA, criminals, hacktivists and the likes and moving into the hands of everyday citizens. Hacker’s List is a website that matches hackers with people looking for services like gaining access to Facebook and email accounts, gaining access to a company’s database, app hacks, adjusting grades and more.

Many compare the Hacker’s List to websites like Craiglist, but a more accurate comparison would be to websites like Elance, Fiverr or ODesk. Users can post the hacking job and hackers bid on the project. Money is held in escrow and released after the job has been marked as completed.

Also read: Lizard Squad Suspect Arrested

Shielded from Legal Liability?

hacker jobThe site is acting as nothing more than a meeting ground for hackers and those seeking their services and is not participating in any of the jobs. Hacker’s List claims to be shielded from legal liability citing their 10-page term and conditions section that all users must agree to in order to use their service. The terms and conditions specifically ban using “the service for any illegal purposes” but it doesn’t appear that this policy is enforced.

Looking at the current project postings there are people looking to take down unflattering images, hack email accounts, android games, remove bad reviews, network/IT security audits, and one request to destroy credibility with the description

“Hack into a company email account. Copy all emails in that account. Give copies of the emails employer. Send spam emails confessing to lying and defamation of character to everyone in the email list.”

While Hacker’s List isn’t involved in any projects, it potentially makes online crime easier. According to Thomas G. A. Brown, a senior managing director with FTI Consulting and a former chief of the computer and intellectual property crime unit of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. In an interview with the New York Times, Brown stated,

“Hackers for hire can permit nontechnical individuals to launch cyberattacks with a degree of deniability, lowering the barriers to entry for online crime,”

While Hacker’s List isn’t the first website to help people find hackers for hire, it is one of the first to do so on the surface web. There is also a market for hacker who work within the confines of the law or “ethical hackers” acting as security experts and advisors or online investigators.

At the time of press, there were nearly 400 job postings and 89 registered hackers. The site has garnered favorable reviews from sites like hackerforhirereview.com, a site dedicated to evaluating the legitimacy of their services. However, the site itself runs very slowly taking up to six seconds to load the home page and 12 seconds to view projects. Running a test on webpagestest.org came back with even worse results.

A UNC Chapel Hill graduate, blockchain enthusiast and analyst. I have a background in programming and IT, strong studies in econ, stats and game theory. I'm interested in online privacy and privacy laws.