hacker

Hacker for Hire: How to Hire a Professional Hacker in 2020

in Hacking
Hacker for Hire

Companies hire hackers to strengthen their IT security. Due to the nature of the hacking profession, finding a hacker for hire can be a daunting task.

In this article, you will learn how to hire a professional hacker for your company without having to search the depths of the dark web.

What is Hacking?

Before you hire a hacker, you will have to understand what exactly they do. Hackers are individuals who identify and exploit the weakness of digital systems to compromise them.

Hacking as a skill may be for negative or positive reasons. Despite the popular notion that hacking is mostly for malicious purposes, companies hire hackers to boost their cybersecurity.

The significant difference in hackers can be identified between black hat hackers and white hat hackers. Black hat hackers infiltrate computers through devious means, steal information, and usually leave networks infected with viruses. Conversely, white hat hackers work with companies to find potential exploits in their systems to prevent other hackers from taking advantage of them.

If you are hiring hackers for your company, you will then be looking for ethical hackers. So, how do you hire a professional hacker? 

How to Hire A Hacker

professional hacker

You can hire a hacker without visiting the dark web where most people assume they lurk. Currently, there are many professional hackers available for hire. Most top of the line ethical hackers have the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification.

Before you hire a hacker, you will have to put together guidelines for your new employee. You have to be clear on what exactly you want to achieve by hiring a hacker. 

Firstly, you should verify the background of the hacker to confirm that they are indeed ethical hackers. This is to prevent a possible scenario where you hire a security professional who doesn’t have the companies interest as a priority.

Secondly, based on the task at hand, you may need a hacker with more experience in a particular field like penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, or security protocols.

An interview should help you assess the skill set of the potential hacker by asking essential questions like, “What type of hacking are you best at?”, “Do we require an external penetration test?” or “Do we need an application security review?”

Aside from hiring hackers to work on your product directly, you can also hire them as security analysts or consultants to supplement your existing security team.

Further, the terms of the agreement between yourself and the newly hired hacker must be well stipulated to prevent complications moving forward.

How Much Should It Cost?

The amount of money you pay for a hacker depends on the nature of work and duration for which the work will be done.

For as low as $5, you could hire a hacker on the popular freelance website like Fiverr. However, research conducted by INFOSEC suggests that the average annual salary of an ethical hacker is $71,331.

This number may seem high, but considering the frequency of data breaches and its impact on online businesses, ethical hackers deserve their paychecks.

For instance, the average data breach in 2018 led to a loss of over $3.8 million. This trend has led to more projects hiring hackers in recent times.

In case you are working on a low budget or lack the approval to hire a professional hacker, you may employ a penetration tester to help you secure your online systems. 

Where to Find Professional Hackers For Hire

There are several platforms where you can find professional hackers to improve your cybersecurity. Here is a list of such platforms:

Dedicated Ethical Hacking Groups

Also, some cybersecurity solution companies provide hacking services in addition to other services.

Freelance Sites to Find Hackers

Hiring Black Hat Hackers

hire a hacker

Hiring a black hat hacker to gain access to an individual or company’s computer system is a crime, and this publication does not condone criminal behavior.

However, the reality is that this is a more common occurrence than you may expect. Most individuals and companies that hire black hat hackers find them on the dark web. Interestingly enough, some black hat hackers have come out of hiding on the dark web into the open to accept gigs.

Some website provides access to hackers that perform questionable and unethical activities such as gaining unapproved access to email accounts or mobile phones and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

Law enforcement agencies are also clamping down on these sites to protect internet users. For example, the U.S Department of Justice shut down 15 domains that were selling DDOS attacks in 2018. The FBI has also introduced measures to prosecute black hat hackers as well as the individuals who purchase their services.

Final Thoughts

The demand for ethical hackers is in high demand. As a result, ethical hacking will become an increasingly profitable career in the future.

Check out our article on Top 10 Best Hacking Books for Ethical Hackers in 2020 to learn more about how to become a professional hacker.

What is a White Hat Hacker?

in Cybersecurity/Hacking
white hat hacker

The word “hacker” is often synonymous with cybercrime. But not all hacking is criminal or malicious. Hacking itself is not illegal. It is only illegal when a hacker compromises a system or network without the owner’s authorization. White hat hackers, for example, help businesses with their hacking skills.

In this guide, you will learn about white hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers, who help businesses secure their IT systems.

The Profile of a White Hat

Also known as a certified ethical hacker or ethical hacker, a white hat hacker is a computer security specialist who compromises systems and networks with the intent of testing and assessing their security stability. Simply put, white hat hacking entails hacking for a legal reason.

white hat hacking

Unlike black hats, a white hat hacker helps organizations to identify security gaps and blocks them before the bad guys take advantage. Since white hackers are familiar with the tactics used by black hackers, they are best suitable for the job.

When employed by an organization, a white hat hacker may choose to assume cybersecurity titles. Classic white hat hacker job titles include network security analyst, IT security engineer, and cybersecurity analyst.

Due to the fierce competition in the world of cybersecurity, hackers often acquire several additional security certifications and technical certifications.

Responsibilities of an Ethical Hacker

A white hat hacker’s responsibility goes beyond checking for system vulnerabilities. They can also include educating staff on the latest cybersecurity risks and setting up security policies to ensure best practice among IT personnel. Additionally, white hats may also develop new tools that businesses can use to protect their systems.

Not all hackers are evil. White hat hackers are the good guys of the hacking world. They are the Jedis in a world full of Sith.

Top 10 Hacking Tools, Apps, And Software You Should Know (And Probably Fear)

in Hacking
hacking tools

In this article, we discuss some of the most known hacking tools, apps, and software to make you aware of some of the most pressing cyber threats out there.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper also referred to by its initials JTR, is one of the most well-known password crackers. This hacking software can crack even the most complex passwords out there. It’s an excellent security tool to use to test password strength in your operating system. This password cracking tool mainly performs dictionary attacks. It takes text string samples from a text file that contains complex and popular words that can be found in a dictionary or from real passwords that have been cracked before. It encrypts them in a similar manner as the password that’s being cracked and compares the results to the encrypted string.

Although it’s an ethical hacking tool, John the Ripper can be used to decipher algorithms and passwords such as Kerberos AFS, Hash Lan Manager, DES, MD5, Blowfish, and MySQL, among others. In addition, it’s an open-source, multi-platform tool available for Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. 

AndroRAT

One of the most commonly used hacking apps for Android is AndroRAT. AndroRAT is an abbreviation of Android and RAT, which stands for Remote Access Tool. This tool enables hackers to remotely control almost everything on an infected device, such as call logs, contacts, and even locations via Network/GPS.

In addition, a hacker can also open a URL on the device’s default browser, take a picture, stream videos, and sound from the microphone or any other source. They can also place a call or send a text message.

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is one of the most dangerous hacking tools for iOS. In fact, most government organizations use this tool. The tool was initially designed to help extract scientific information. However, its ability to copy any targeted gadget remotely transformed it into one of the most famous iOS hacking apps. It’s for this reason that the Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is more of a hacking gadget than it is a programming tool.

With this tool, you can break passwords on an iPhone, decrypt iOS backups using GPU acceleration as well as iCloud Keychain, and files from the iCloud. In addition, this tool can download iCloud backups, sync data with or without an Apple ID password or get data from Microsoft accounts.

Metasploit

Metasploit is an open-source project for pen-testing. It’s one of the most popular hacking tools available today. The Metasploit hacking software can be described as a collection of hacking tools and frameworks that can be used to carry out different tasks. In fact, Metasploit is a must-learn tool for anyone that wants to become a penetration tester.

This software provides users with vital information with reference to known security vulnerabilities and aids in IDS testing strategies, plans, methodologies and the formulation of penetration testing for exploitation. There are three different versions of the Metasploit software:

  • Pro – suitable for IT security teams and penetration testing
  • Community – ideal for infosec students and small companies
  • Framework – excellent for security researchers and app developers 

Metasploit also supports different operating systems such as  Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

NMAP

hacking apps

Network Mapper, simply known as NMAP, is one of the most popular open-source hacking tools. It is mainly used for security auditing and network discovery. Thousands of system admins globally use it to monitor service uptime or host as well as manage service upgrade schedules.

As a tool, NMAP creatively uses raw IP packets to discover which hosts are present on the network, the kind of services the hosts are providing information on, the operating systems as well as the type and version of packet firewalls/filters that the target is using. With NMAP, the admin user can determine whether the associated nodes and network need patching. Also worth mentioning is that the NMAP tool has been featured in almost every hacker movie

Wireshark

Wireshark is free open-source hacking software that lets you analyze your network traffic in real-time. It has a sniffing technology that allows it to detect any network security problems. It’s also effective for solving common network problems.

Wireshark uses its sniffing technology to capture packets of data in the network in real-time and then display them in a human-readable format. This way, it becomes easier to identify any potential problems such as threats, low latency, and vulnerabilities.

THC Hydra

THC Hydra is another software that works in a similar manner to John the Ripper. It’s a very popular password cracker and has a very experienced and active development team behind it.

THC Hydra is a stable and fast network login hacking tool that uses brute-force or dictionary attacks to try different types of login combinations and passwords against any login page. It also supports several sets of protocols such as Mail (IMAP, POP3, etc), LDAP, VNC, SSH, SMB, and Databases. 

SN1PER

Sn1per is a well-known scanner for investigating vulnerabilities. It can easily be loaded into Kali Linux and has a free and paid version. This hacking app is perfect for scanning for vulnerabilities as well as for enumerations.

While Sn1per is an excellent application for ethical hackers who can find vulnerabilities on their servers or networks, black hat hackers can also use it for unsavory purposes.

Cain and Abel Hacking Tool

Cain and Abel (also referred to as Cain) is a very popular hacking tool. It was designed to operate as a password recovery tool for Microsoft Windows. However, off-label, black hat hackers can use it to crack different types of passwords by cracking password hashes or using network packet sniffing.

When used to crack passwords, this tool can use methods such as rainbow table attacks, brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks or cryptanalysis attacks. 

IronWASP

IronWASP is an excellent hacking tool for anyone that is keen on learning and performing ethical hacking. Similar to other tools we’ve mentioned in this list, IronWASP is open source and multi-platform. You can use it to audit public applications and web servers.

What makes this hacking tool appealing is that one doesn’t need to be an expert to use its main features. It’s entirely GUI-based and full scans can be done by just a few clicks.

If these hacking tools have sparked your curiosity about ethical hacking, check out our guide on how to become a hacker.

Top 7 Hacking Games, Reviewed for 2020

in Hacking
Hacking Games

If you want to dive into the world of hacking without actually breaking into anyone’s computer system, you can get your hands on hacking games.

In this guide, we take a look at the top seven hacking games that you can play in 2020. 

Gunpoint

Gunpoint
Image by Steam

Gunpoint is a popular hacking game that is a combination of stealth and puzzle-solving. Moreover, it includes partial hacking now and then. The game takes place in the future where Richard Convoy, a spy, has to penetrate buildings to fulfill assignments from different clients. To do this, you have to use a hacking gadget, the crosslink, to sneak your way through the buildings. You can opt to rewire the lights in a room so that they go off when you enter. Alternatively, you can lure the guard and lock him outside before you can gain entry. Simply put, you have to do what you can to bypass security features and avoid guards to complete any of the given mission.

Additional features include:

  • Choose your own style of play
  • Discover your own solutions to different levels
  • Purchase any gadgets to suit your playstyle 

Available on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Quadrilateral Cowboy

hacking game
Image by Steam

Quadrilateral Cowboy is an excellent hacking game by Brendon Chung. He is behind games such as Thirty Flights of Loving and Gravity Bone. In this game, you become the computer hacker who, armed with a “top-of-the-line hacking deck outfitted with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM”, oversees one or more agents who penetrate buildings and steal documents. Different agents have different abilities. As the player, you get to experience what the agents are experiencing via virtual reality goggles. In addition, you have to come up with a program by typing a code on your keyboard that helps you manipulate the building’s security features without triggering the alarms. Moreover, the programs have to be designed with the right timing to allow them to bypass the various obstacles without setting off the alarm. 

Additional features:

  • You have access to other gadgets that can be programmed to help with the heist
  • Available as a standard edition and deluxe edition 

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Invisible, Inc. 

Invisible
Image by Steam

In Klei Entertainment’s Invisible, Inc. you acts as a remote operator for a spying agency that is under attack from multinational organizations. As a result, you have to direct agents in secret missions, acquiring support and resources that can allow them to relocate the agency’s computer system to a safe haven.

Additional features: 

  • You can choose from five different play modes
  • Customizable build allows you to adapt to your surroundings
  • Each playthrough is different thanks to the randomly generated world

 Available on Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, and iOS.

Darknet 

darknet
Image by Steam

Darknet is a puzzle/strategy game in which players play as elite hackers who have been contracted to recover data from the world’s most secure networks. This award-winning game plays in a first-person perspective and requires careful planning and smart execution. You need to conquer the net, a hidden cyber world, by diving into networks directly for a personal and up-close hacking experience. You can do this using worms, viruses, and exploits. The game is a procedural level generation game which means no two levels are alike.

Additional features: 

  • Designed to help players improve their hacking skills
  • Features an in-game currency for upgrading your tools
  • An intuitive and fluid UI

Available for Android and iOS.

Hacknet 

Hacknet
Image by Steam

Hacknet is among the best simulator hacker games available. It’s a terminal-based, immersive hacking simulator for PCs. In this game, Bit, a hacker who is responsible for developing the most invasive security systems on earth is dead. However, the media reports it as an accident but that might not be the case. When he doesn’t reconnect to his system for 14 days, his failsafe kicks in and sends instructions in an automated email to a lone user, you. As a result, it’s now up to you to uncover the mystery and ensure that Hacknet-OS doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Additional features: 

  • The game focuses on real hacking 
  • You get a chance to gain insight into the world of hacking 
  • Designed with instructions to provide an easy learning curve

Available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Deus Ex

hacker game
Image by Steam

Deus Ex is another role-playing hacker game. It is a series of six games: Deus ex (2000), Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003), Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011), Deus Ex: The Fall (2013), Deus Ex Go (2016) and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (2016). In this game, the year is 2052 and the world has become a chaotic and dangerous place. Terrorists are operating openly and killing thousands of people. In addition, more and more people are dying from diseases, drugs, and pollution. The world’s economies are about to collapse and the ever-growing gap between the wealthy and the poor grows ever wider. Moreover, the secretive factions are now emerging and fighting on who will control the world. 

Additional features: 

  • It has action, problem-solving and character interaction
  • The game adapts to each individual player’s style of play
  • It’s realistic and features recognizable locations 

Available on Microsoft Windows, macOS and PlayStation 2.

Watch Dogs

Watchdogs
Image by Steam

Watch Dogs was created by Ubisoft Montreal and is all about revenge. In this game, you play Aiden Pearce, a former thug and brilliant hacker whose criminal past resulted in a violent family tragedy. He is now on the hunt for those who harmed his family using a system called Central Operating System (CTOS). This system holds crucial information from every resident of the city and controls almost every piece of the city’s technology. With this system, Aiden Pearce is able to monitor and hack everyone by manipulating everything connected to the CTOS. This includes downloading personal information to help you find a target or controlling the public transportation system to stop the enemy. 

Additional features:

  • Takes place in a simulated city
  • Customize your own style of play
  • Access to over 30 traditional weapons 

Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, and Wii U.

If you want to learn more about hacking, you can read our guide on how to become a hacker.

What is a Grey Hat Hacker?

in Hacking
grey hat hacker

A grey hat hacker (also spelled gray hat) is a hacker or cybersecurity professional who violates laws or common ethical standards but without malicious intent.

If a black hat hacker discovers a vulnerability, he will exploit it and cause harm to others. On the other hand, a grey hat hacker will usually exploit the vulnerability to find a fix or alert the makers of the software.

The term, “grey hat” and its direct opposite “black hat” became popular in the late 1990s. The term was first used on record by DEFCON. The biggest hackers convention used the term in 1996 when it announced a Black Hat Briefings.

The color grey, in this case, is a middle ground between black and white. White hat hackers also exist and are considered ethical. In a world of black and white, hackers who find themselves in the middle are identified by the color grey.

Grey hat hackers explore the internet and hack various computer systems. However, he or she discloses loopholes to intelligence agencies, law enforcement or the affected corporations.

In some cases, a grey hat will charge a company a fee to help fix a vulnerability they have noticed. In such situations, the vulnerability could be extremely harmful to the platform in question. 

Top 5 Grey Hat Hackers

Here are some of the most known grey hat hackers who were motivated by varying reasons including profit and the quest to show the weakness in various computer systems.

what is a grey hat hacker

Gary McKinnon

McKinnon is known to be a very skillful hacker who was well versed in computer-related practices as young as age 14. His biggest exploit as a grey hacker involved the American Military.

McKinnon hacked 97 American military networks and left a “your security is crap” message on their network. 

Kelvin Poulson

Poulson, on the other hand, did it for recognition. He was known as Dark Dante at age 20.

He hacked into the LA phone networks to win an award on a radio show. Poulson also went as far as hacking the phone calls of “Hollywood Starlet” to prove his skills.

Anonymous

Anonymous is a very popular hacking group that is known for its various stance on global issues.

The group often hacks into networks of governmental organizations and influential websites to air their views on issues that interest them. 

Kevin Mitnick

Mitnick is another renowned grey hat hacker who began his exploits at an early age. He was reported to have made free calls using his hacked mobile phone and stole secret codes from Sun Microsystems and Novell during childhood. 

What’s more, he claims to have hacked phone calls of the NSA (National Security Agency).

“{}” 

A hacking group known as “{}”  hacked Apache.org in 2000. Instead of exploiting the loophole, the team sent an alert to the Apache crew to fix the problem. 

Despite their unethical stance, grey hat hackers are very important in strengthening the security of various networks. These hackers take bold steps to stress test various computer systems. Since they don’t pose any major danger, their work brings better results in the end.

Hacking 101: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Become a Hacker

in Hacking
how to become a hacker

If you want to learn hacking but have no idea where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you will discover how to become a hacker. But first, let’s talk about what hacking is, the different types of hackers, and whether hacking is illegal or not.

What is Hacking?

Hacking refers to identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a system and gaining access to it without authorization. A hacker is a person that targets a system and gets unauthorized access to it. However, there are ethical hackers who have permission to lawfully and legitimately gain access to a system.

Before we delve deeper into hacking 101, it’s important to state that not all hackers are bad. In mainstream media, hackers are generalized as cybercriminals. However, that isn’t always the case.

Hackers are categorized depending on the type of metaphorical “hat” they wear – ‘white hat’, ‘grey hat’ or ‘black hat’. That said, there are 10 types of hackers but for the sake of this article, we shall only take a look at five.  

  • White hat hacker – also known as an ethical hacker is a hacker who gains access to protected networks and systems to test and assess their security. They expose vulnerabilities and improve security before malicious hackers can gain access and exploit them
  • Black hat hacker – a classical hacker that gains unauthorized access to a system or network and exploits them for malicious or financial gain
  • Grey hat hacker – a hacker who gains unauthorized access to a secure system or network but reveals the weaknesses to the said company
  • Hacktivist – a hacktivist is a type of computer hacker that breaks into a system and creates messages geared towards certain social issues
  • Script kiddie – a script kiddie is a hacker who is a newbie in the hacking field. He or she doesn’t usually cause any major damage because they don’t have the experience to

Is Hacking Illegal?

is hacking illegal

“Is hacking illegal?” is a common question on the internet. The answer is yes and no. It depends on the intentions of the hacker.

Hacking isn’t illegal until someone hacks into a system or network and causes malice. Illegal hacking, therefore, refers to a hacker gaining access to a system with no authorization with the intention of causing damage. Still, even if an individual hacks into a system and doesn’t cause any harm, it’s still illegal as long as no permission was given.

Legal hacking has been narrowly defined leaving it to the hacker to become conversant with both local and national laws relating to hacking. It can be loosely defined as hacking into a computer system with written permission. Legal hacking, also known as white hat hacking, is largely used by organizations that want to ensure their computer systems are safe. To do this, they hire white hat hackers to find vulnerabilities.

How to Become a Hacker

Now that we have discussed what hacking is, the different types of hackers, and whether or not hacking is illegal, let’s talk about how to become a hacker.

learn hacking

Start With the Basics

As a beginner with little or no knowledge, one of the best ways that you can start learning is by beginning with the basics of hacking. Instead of immediately learning how to hack, you can start by exploring topics like computer networks, firewalls, network ports, network protocols such as IP addresses, FTP, SMTP, DNS, HTTP, etc. You can also start learning about other operating systems such as Linux whose knowledge is very important in the hacking field. The more you keep learning about hacking basics, the easier it becomes to find system weaknesses.

Once you’ve mastered the basic understanding of the primary concepts, you will find it easier to grasp different hacking techniques. In addition, as you continue to gain experience, you can gradually begin to get into higher levels of hacking.

Find a Good Learning Source

A lot of the content that is available in both books and on hacking websites is for experienced hackers. Usually, they contain technical information on the latest system vulnerabilities and how to exploit them.

However, the case is different for beginners. There aren’t enough hacking tutorials or content that teach hacking in a simple manner. The majority of the ones available don’t teach the basics of hacking.

Still, there are a handful of few authors and websites that teach hacking to beginners. If you search the internet long enough, you will find them.

Learn Programming

Learning programming is an optional choice. However, If you are serious about becoming a hacker, then programming is something that you have to learn. Especially, if you have no working knowledge of it.

Of course, there are lots of ready-made programs and tools that you can use to hack with relative ease. However, there’s nothing wrong with having some basic knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript or C++.

These languages will enable you to be in a position to build your own programs and exploit codes. They will also make it easier to handle and interpret any code that you encounter in your hacking career.

Learn Both UNIX and Windows

There are a few operating systems besides Windows and OS. If you want to become a good hacker, it’s important that you learn other operating systems to expand your hacking knowledge. Most web applications and servers run on UNIX. Besides, more companies are switching to UNIX-based operating systems because they are more secure than Windows.

Most experienced and professional hackers use UNIX as their main operating system. While there’s no denying that you can still accomplish many things using Windows, it’s not as complete and secure as UNIX. That simply means that it’s not suitable for hacking or penetrating testing. As a beginner, while it’s important to learn all operating systems, it’s important you invest your time in learning a system that everyone uses.

You should also be willing to constantly and continuously learn new things given how fast technology keeps changing.

Mastering the Art of Hacking

hacking 101

Just like with any sport or habit, you can never be perfect. And neither can you learn it in a day. You need to constantly keep up with the changes in your industry so that you don’t miss out. The same applies to hacking.

It isn’t something that can be learned overnight. And, you should never be in a rush to get going. You have to take baby steps. That means learning and improving your skills each day. You have to put in the work by making time for it.

Learning how to hack fully depends on you and the effort and dedication you put. Also, depending on the type of learner you are, it can take anything between a few months to several years to acquire all the important skills needed. Besides the available tutorials, you can read books, participate in forums such as Quora where you can cross share knowledge with other learners or professionals who have more experience than you do. Find practical examples that give you a step by step guide on how you can hack like a professional.

There are lots of resources available. Find what works for you and stick to it. Every individual can become a hacker as long as they start from the basics. If you want to learn how to be a hacker, you need to find a good source of knowledge, be passionate and be patient with yourself.

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