At the end of last year, the hacking incident of Sony Pictures received great attention from the industry. What people haven't noticed is that the demand of ordinary netizens for "network intrusion" is becoming more and more common, and they are even willing to bid $2,000 to hire hackers to invade the boss's website.
A man in Sweden said that he would pay $2,000 as a reward if anyone could hack into his boss's website. A woman in California said she would pay $500 if anyone could hack into her boyfriend's Facebook and Gmail accounts to see if he was cheating himself.
Nowadays, "network intrusion" is no longer the exclusive behavior of secret service, international criminal organizations, dark political operations and disgruntled hackers, but has also evolved into a "personal" business.
When well-known companies such as Sony Pictures, JPMorgan Chase and Home Depot were attacked by hackers, they all attracted great attention from the industry. However, people seldom notice that the behavior of ordinary consumers hiring hackers is becoming more and more popular, although they are only for the purpose of "espionage".
To this end, some people have set up a website "Hacker's List" to help individuals find hackers. If you want to access an email account, remove "unfriendly" photos from a website, or access a company's database, you can find suitable hackers through the website. Less than three months after the website was launched, more than 500 intrusion tasks were provided for hackers to complete, and hackers enjoyed it.
The whole process is anonymous. After the task is assigned, the website operator is responsible for charging. Before the task is completed, the fee is temporarily managed by the website. Hacker's List was launched in early November last year. At present, consumers pay hackers from 100 dollars to 2,000 dollars.
For example, an Australian customer is willing to pay $2,000, hoping that hackers will steal a customer list from a competitor's database. The customer said, "I want to get a customer list from the competitor database. I want to know who their customers are and what the payment standard is. "
In addition, some people are looking for hackers, hoping to remove some unfavorable photos or articles from the Internet, look for lost passwords and so on.
These intrusion requirements provided on the Hacker's List website show that this low-key, ordinary hacking behavior has become commonplace. This is also a challenge for law enforcement agencies.
Computer security experts and law enforcement officials said that this kind of intrusion into personal e-mail or social accounts occurred from time to time. For example, a large number of nude photos of actresses were posted on the Internet last September.
It is not clear how successful Hacker's List is, but the website has attracted about 40 hackers to register and 844 intrusion requests, many of which have not yet been completed. It is difficult to judge how many intrusion requests provided by consumers are legal.
Websites that evaluate the legality of hacker services give high evaluation to Hacker's List. Founder Eric said that he gave the highest rating to Hacker's List because it was a "really cool" concept.
In view of the novelty of Hacker's List service, it is difficult to judge whether it violates any laws at present. However, the intrusion requests provided by some consumers on Hacker's List are obviously illegal, such as hacking into other people's email accounts.
The founders of Hacker's List said that they should not bear any legal responsibility because they neither approve nor tolerate illegal acts. Hacker's List also lists a 10-page clause on the website, which clearly States that "the service shall not be used for any illegal purpose."
Some experts say that Hacker's List provides a place for hackers and consumers in need to "meet", and it is still uncertain whether its behavior is illegal.
Jarkin, President of Cyber Diligence, a private investigation company, and former commander of Computer Crime Department of new york Police Department? Yalkin Demirkaya said that whether to ban Hacker's List depends on how law enforcement officials view the priority of the case. Many customers who posted intrusion requests on Hacker's List website came from abroad, which may make Hacker's List escape.
Inspiration at the dinner table
But Thomas, senior managing director of FTI Consulting, a well-known consulting service company? Thomas G. A. Brown believes that websites like Hacker's List still have legal risks. "This service will lower the barriers to online crime," Brown said.
Hacker's List also has its own Twitter account, which is mainly used to post the latest assigned intrusion tasks. Hacker's List has three co-founders, and at least for now, they are unwilling to reveal their true identities.
A reporter contacted one of the founders by email. He called himself "Jack" and said that the company was headquartered in Colorado. He himself is a long-term hacker, and the other two founders are a master of business administration and a lawyer.
Jack also said that before creating the Hacker's List website, the three founders had consulted legal counsel to avoid the improper behavior of customers and hackers from causing trouble to the website. Jack also revealed that the three of them have been friends for a long time, and they were inspired to create Hacker's List during a meal.