Computer hackers assemble together in dangerous underground forums and markets where they both trade viruses and hacking tools and engage in discussions and plan the next major attack or virus outbreak. If you have been wondering what kinds of dangers does the Dark Web hideouts hide then continue reading. In this article we will delve deep into what these dangerous communities can produce.
Some of The Threats Revealed
The Dark Web is the main hiding spot of the hacker communities. Here computer hackers from around the world assemble and plot out their next attacks. In many cases the discussions are much more than the typical plans for launching the next cyber security attacks. Many experts who have delved deep into the communities state that they are complex enterprises where a variety of services can be found:
- Exploits and Virus Trading – A primary function of the hacker marketplaces is to exchange all sorts of viruses – from new ransomware strains to customized versions and independent creations and even RaaS(ransomware-as-a-service) iterations. In many cases the hackers also obtain dangerous vulnerability codes that are used in penetration testing frameworks which are used to hack vulnerable servers. The hacker underground markets are also one of the primary sources for undisclosed zero-day exploits.
- Recruitment – Hackers recruitment is something common in the underground. However recent reports state that a new trend has emerged – the recruitment of insiders that help the malicious actors break into hardened corporate networks.
- Target Attacks – Hackers most frequently group in order to launch large-scale attack campaigns against certain predefined targets. In most cases these are large corporations or government institutions which need considerable resources and knowledge to break into. The computer criminals can come together to merge their forces together and increase their chances of a successful intrusion.
These are only the most popular case scenarios. Bear in mind that the security experts cannot actually access the ones that are private in nature. There are secret hacker lairs which are only accessible if the members have given the visitors explicit permission. Some experts from the security community linked the development of new and dangerous viruses and ongoing large-scale attacks as being directed from the hacker underground.
A recent example is the Windows release of the Mirai botnet client. Its emergence came after several months of ongoing campaigns that caused millions of US dollars in damage. The Mirai botnet is one of the largest and most deadly attacks that we have seen in the last decade the fact that hackers continue to develop it further means that security experts must take every step to ensure that their networks remain secure.
Recently The famous AlphaBay hacker marketplace was breached as a result of a vulnerability (more details here). From the harvested information we have witnessed that such places also serve as an outlet to sell out harvested payment card information from hacked databases and user account credentials.
All of this shows that the hacker forums are not to be taken lightly. While most of the well-known ones serve as high-profile marketplaces, many of the smaller ones that are less known and private in nature often are used to plan out dangerous attacks. We suspect that they are also in use by the famous hacker groups which are known to launch large-scale attacks at big institutions and governments worldwide.
Author Bio: Martin Beltov graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast, he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion. He mainly contributes to the Best Security Search website.
Martin Beltov is a guest blogger, all opinions are his own.