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A lot of what the general public knows about hackers is perpetuated by Hollywood myth and urban legends. Whether you picture a pixie-cut Angelina Jolie surfing through cyberspace or a nameless, faceless foreigner spamming from a dim basement, most people probably don’t know much about the life of a traditional “Black Hat” hacker — someone who uses their hacking skills to make money or mischief, as opposed to helping companies and other organizations reinforce their security.
It turns out that the best Black Hat hackers run their operations just like any other business.
During an AmA on Reddit’s /r/netsec, a Black Hat Hacker under the (albeit fitting) username throw4way1945 explained the process of running his 3 million PC botnet, which he calls the Black Shadow Project. Offering an inside look at a system built on nefarious schemes like spamming and phishing, throw4way1945’s day sounds oddly enough like business as usual.
After spending three years coding his system, throw4way1945 says he regularly manages his botnet and a smaller, 10,000-bot Android system. Clients pay for services, like 1 million spam messages sent in 50,000-chunk blocks for $150, as well as DDoS attacks on their targets of choice. The hacker says that he sends out 90 million spam emails a day to “anyone and everyone.”
“have 0 control over who downloads my file. i simply post a exploit kit (usually in the form of a deface) and then add the link to spam mail and send.”
To drum up business, throw4way1945 says that he belongs to hacking forums — including one that requires $20,000 before an invite is sent. He also says that he would work for anybody, including private companies and the government.
In order to successfully launder money, throw4way1945 says that he only accepts BitCoin and LiteCoin. He trades those coins among a few different proxy wallets before converting the coin into U.S. dollars and depositing it — an anonymous way to launder the money and fund his continued operation. As for getting caught?
“i can make 15-20k in a hour. jail doesnt concern me”