Hackers Post Online Ads in Search of New Recruits

Dennis Faas's picture

Hackers are now hiring new recruits on a contract basis to carry out attacks. According to Kevin Stevens, a threat intelligence analyst for SecureWorks, the "hiring hackers" have no shame in listing exactly what their positions entail.

Cash Offered for Infected Downloads

The desired candidates must be willing to take malicious code and link it to something scandalous that people will likely click on. The incentive is there, however, as new malware peddlers will be compensated for every 1,000 times the compromised software is downloaded onto a computer.

One recruiting website boasted a payment of $180 for every 1,000 downloads. However, there is one worrisome catch for those living in North America: the malware peddlers only get the full payment if a U.S. computer becomes compromised. The devious individuals get paid less for downloads in other countries and absolutely nothing for downloads in Russia. (Source: yahoo.com)

Millions of Computers Compromised

While it remains unclear exactly how many computers were infected by the malware peddled by these "companies" thus far, the number is expected to be in the millions.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates about $264 million in losses from Internet crimes reported by individuals in 2008 alone. The 2009 report is still forthcoming.

Internet Crime Continues to Rise

As more individuals and companies put such personal information as business plans, credit card numbers and banking information online, Internet crimes will continue to rise.

"There are hundreds of billions of dollars that traverse the Internet" lamented Shawn Henry, assistant director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division. As for threats? "[They've] absolutely gotten bigger, yes, absolutely." (Source: reuters.com)

Officials are working hard to uproot the source behind these and similar online recruiting systems.

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