March 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Dark Web job market – malware developers wanted

The Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence team studied 200,000 advertisements posted on 155 darknet forums from January 2020 to June 2022.

On the dark web an army of IT specialists is constantly working. Their job is to create malicious pages, phishing, hacking into corporate infrastructure, web applications and mobile applications. At the top of the list of the most in-demand IT specialties in the field cybercrimeaccording to a study by digital security company Kaspersky Lab, there are programmers, attackers and web designers.

Team Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence studied 200,000 job postings and analyzed those that contained information about long-term or full-time jobs. Salaries offered to IT professionals ranged from $1,300 to $4,000 per month. The highest salary, $4,000, was offered to reverse engineers. 40% of ads were posted in 2020, with a peak in March 2020, possibly due to financial hardship that some of the population is experiencing due to the pandemic.

The average monthly salary of IT specialists in the dark web

Position Average monthly salary
Attacker 2500 USD
Programmer 2000 dollars
reverse engineering technician $4000
Analyst 1750 USD
IT administrator 1500 USD

The highest monthly salary found by Kaspersky Lab experts in ads was $20,000 for a developer position. The minimum fee offered was only $200. Some job postings on the dark web included bonuses and commissions for successful projects, such as receiving a ransom from a compromised organization.

Developers are the most in-demand jobs on the dark web, as 61% of all ads were aimed specifically at developers. Among them, the category of web developers with experience in creating a number of online products, such as phishing pages, was the most in demand (accounting for 60% of developers’ advertising). Demand for malware encoders has also been high. This specialty may include the development of Trojans, ransomware, stealers, backdoors, botnets, and other types of malware, as well as the creation and modification of attack tools.

Attackers, or IT professionals who carry out attacks on networks, web applications and mobile devices, were the second most popular category of workers wanted by cybercriminals, accounting for 16% of all advertising. The closest legitimate example of this position is the role of a penetration tester. Most of the messages on the dark web were related to activities that could compromise corporate infrastructure. The purpose of these actions is to infect with ransomware, steal data or steal cash directly from accounts. Some of the most sought after hacking skills include accessing compromised systems and hacking web and mobile apps that cybercriminal employers sell to other cybercriminals.

Designers ranked third in demand with 10%. Their goal is usually to create malicious products, such as phishing pages or emails, that are difficult to distinguish from the original. Dark web employers are also looking for IT administrators, reverse engineers, analysts, testers, IT engineers and architects, help desk specialists, coders, forum moderators, and project managers.

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