Hackers for hire: Anonymous, quick, and not necessarily illegal

Lack skills yourself? A new website allows you to find a hacker in minutes for revenge against an ex or to take down local competition.

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Hacker's List is a new service for those looking to draft help from the hacking community.

The website, which opened for business in early November, has opened a public window in how the business elements of hacking can operate. As noted by the New York Times, the business is no longer limited to state-sponsored cyberespionage, criminal gangs or the pursuit of data -- instead, the average citizen can employ the skills of a white or black-hat hacker for relatively low rates.

Far from the realms of the destructive Sony hack, JPMorgan Chase, the inside job at Morgan Stanley and other high-profile cyberattacks which have taken place over the past year, Hacker's List matches hackers with members of the general public who wish to hire hackers for far smaller jobs -- although ones that may not be any less damaging on a personal scale.

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According to the publication, over 500 hacking jobs have been put to the bid since the site's launch last year. Submitted anonymously by the site's users, hackers then seek to outbid each other to secure the work, which ranges from breaking into email accounts to taking down websites.

Hacker's List acts as a go-between, taking a slice of the fee for each job completed and holding funds until the hacker has completed their assignment and feedback has been received. If there is a problem, the website says a "dispute specialist" will review the work.

A number of hackers listed on the website provide hourly rates, ranging from $28 to $300.

The variety of jobs is far-ranging; from breaking into Gmail accounts to corporate email and taking down websites in revenge. Surprisingly, many jobs listed on the site are for the purpose of education -- with customers pleading for hackers to break into school systems in order to change grades.

A selection of jobs (unedited), together with how much customers are willing to pay for a job, are listed below.

$300-$500: I need a hack for an Android Game called "Iron Force" developed by "Chillingo". It's a dynamic Server game, frequently updated. very hard to hack. i need a hack that give diamonds and cash on this game and if possible a auto-play robot system for my account.

$10-$350: Need some info and messages from a Facebook account. Other jobs to come if successfull

$300-$600: I need a hacker to change my final grade, it should be done in a week.

$200-$300: Hack into a company email account. Copy all emails in that account. Give copies of the emails employer. Send spam emails confessing to lying and defamation of character to everyone in the email list.

Other jobs include de-indexing pages and photos from search engines, acquiring client lists from competitors and retrieving lost passwords.

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It isn't clear how successful Hacker's List will turn out to be, as many jobs are listed without a single bidder. From a law perspective, the website's owner has taken steps to try and stay out of culpability. The website includes a long terms and conditions section which forbids illegal activity, and Hacker's List says it neither endorses nor condones illegal activity. The T&C section states:

  • In your use of our Service, you agree to act responsibly in a manner demonstrating the exercise of good judgment. For example and without limitation, you agree not to: violate any applicable law or regulation,
  • infringe the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, intellectual property, privacy, publicity or contractual rights,
  • use the information available through our Service for any unauthorized or unlawful purpose,
  • use the Service for any illegal purposes.

In addition, to stop your activities from being made obvious through bank statements, Hacker's List assures users that transactions will be discreetly labeled "CCS."

Read on: In the world of security

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