Hacking Group: Darkweb Developers Are In High Demand

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | Feb 01, 2023 07:33 am PST

Hacker gangs frequently run like businesses; they have staff, clients, and working hours. They often employ the same strategies as legitimate tech companies and startups to find fresh individuals with improved skill sets to compete in a rising industry.

The primary distinction is that cybercriminals carry it out on the dark web, the epicenter of illicit commerce. Researchers from Kaspersky examined nearly 200,000 full-time job posts and CVs on 155 darknet forums between January 2020 and June 2022 to determine how the covert cybercrime labor market functions.

Key Findings: Examination Of The Job Market On The Darkweb 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the resulting changes in the labor market’s makeup are likely factors in the highest number of advertising filed in March 2020.
  • Hacker teams and APT groups are the leading employers on the darkweb, looking for people with the skills necessary to create and propagate malware, construct and maintain IT infrastructure, and perform other related tasks.
  • Developers are sought for in most job postings (61% of all postings).
  • The highest claimed monthly compensation we saw in an ad for a developer was $20,000. Developers also topped the list of the best-paying dark web IT professions.
  • IT specialists had median salaries ranging from $1,300 to $4,000.
  • Ads for reverse engineers had an average pay of $4,000.

 High Rise In Job Listings

Most tasks advertised on the dark web are unlawful, such as stealing personal information or making money by selling drugs on shady websites.

According to Moscow-based Kaspersky, many people are drawn to the darkweb by the promise of quick cash and huge profits—rarely more considerable than legitimate businesses’ profits.

Cybercrime gangs also hire tech specialists whenever there is unrest in the global tech market, including layoffs and wage cuts. According to Kaspersky, the month of March 2020 saw the most significant number of job postings on darknet forums (41% of all of them), as many people were compelled to stay at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak and lost their employment or sources of money.

Eastern Europe, where several well-known hacking organizations are situated, has seen a particularly apparent impact from the pandemic and the consequent rise in job listings on darkweb.

Process For Recruitment On Darkweb

Criminal organizations do make several allowances when hiring hackers. The gangs frequently demand that applicants be of legal age and free from narcotics and alcoholism. Naturally, prior convictions are not a factor. In the tech sector, specific applicant requirements, like a college degree or a history of military service, don’t matter.

Since dark web employment is remote and flexible, they typically appeal to freelancers. Cybercriminals also aim to entice recruits with incentives, paid time off for vacation and illness, and even welcoming employees.

This is hardly shocking because hacking organizations are always looking for skilled workers. According to the survey, companies, not job seekers, publish most adverts in the darkweb.

According to Kaspersky, nation-state organizations and hacking teams are the leading employers on the dark web, looking for people with the skills necessary to create and propagate malware or construct and maintain IT infrastructure.

Experts In demand

On the darkweb, developers (61%) are in high demand, followed by attackers and designers.

According to the survey, the necessity to design and set up new, more complicated tools could account for the increased need for developers.

Assignments for tests, interviews, and probationary periods are frequently part of the employment process. The primary distinction is the lack of a signed work contract.

The amount of the hacker’s remuneration is determined by their abilities, experience, and job quality. Attackers make $2,500 per month on average, reverse engineers $4,000, and analysts $1,750.

At the time of the survey, coding offered at least $20,000 per month, making it the highest-paying profession. The idea that they engage in an unlawful activity doesn’t bother job seekers much.

The job’s high level of flexibility appeals to them the most, according to the study: “You may take as many days off as you like, You are free to select any schedule, tasks, and area of work, and there is no dress code.


According to data from the Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence (DFI) team, many cybercriminal companies are looking for developers, attackers, and designers. They are increasingly searching on the darkweb to find these IT specialists. Kaspersky DFI, between January 2020 and June 2022, developers were the most in-demand IT specialists. They made up 61% of all job postings in the darkweb during this time. Web developers and malware coders were two of the most in-demand specialists in this field. They made up 16% of all job postings on the dark web. Also, the second most sought-after job listings on the darkweb by cybercriminal employers were for attackers. Additionally, cybercriminals frequently hire attackers to infect computers with malware, steal data, or withdraw money from accounts. According to Kaspersky DFI, designers were the third most in-demand profession in the darkweb.

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