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Inside the criminal internet underworld where nerds are paid more than £16,000 a month to become hackers

HAVE you ever wondered how the criminal underworld keeps itself well staffed?

Well, it turns out gangs are targeting tech specialists on the dark web.


Layoffs in the tech sector can also see people turning to the dark web for work, Kaspersky saidCredit: Alamy

The dark web is a collective name for a variety of websites, which often involve a marketplace where people engage in or solicit dodgy activities.

A raft of semi-legal and illegal jobs are advertised on the dark web, but there are also ads with some legal job offers, according to an investigation by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

“The major dark web employers are hacker teams and APT groups looking for those capable of developing and spreading malware code, building and maintaining IT infrastructure, and so on,” the firm said.

After analysing job ads and resumes that were posted on 155 dark web forums from January 2020 through June 2022, the firm found out that the financial reward for organised cyber crime can be pretty good.

For the most in-demand jobs – developers – these ‘criminal nerds’ can rake in as much as $20,000 (£16,000) a month for their dodgy dealings.

Most of the jobs ads reviewed by Kaspersky were looking for developers – people who can craft malware for example.

The second most in demand role is ‘attacker’, also known as a pentester, or someone who can be paid to try penetrate or hack into certain systems.

The median levels of pay offered to IT professionals for dark web roles varied between $1,300 and $4,000.

Many payments are also offered via cryptocurrencies.

Layoffs in the tech sector can see people turning to the dark web for work, Kaspersky said.

While many are drawn in by the allure of the criminal underbelly of the internet, salaries are often the same as those you can earn legally. 

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