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how do cybercriminals make money?

An analysis of what works is the basis for cybercriminals making money. Hackers try different forms of cybercrime to find the most lucrative.

Extortion is the main method hackers use to monetize stolen data. For years, extortion has been a popular form of cybercrime. There are other ways hackers can make money than extortion. These methods are discussed and explained in detail.

Hackers hack for fun, but their primary goal is to gain financial gains. Hackers can make money if they have the right skills.

Cybercriminals make money by selling credit card data.

Hackers can make cash by stealing your credit card data. This is the simplest and most popular way hackers make money. Credit cards can be used online for everything: memberships, purchases, money transfers, and so on. By compromising credit card databases or intercepting data during transactions, credit numbers can be stolen.

Over 300,000 British Airways customers were the victim of a high-profile attack. This attack used a malicious JavaScript line called Magecart. Magecart allows hackers access to credit card information by embedding the script into payment pages. Magecart was one example of an attack in which hackers didn’t have to compromise databases, but instead used a script that would allow them to steal credit card details during transactions.

Cybercriminals make money by selling personal data over the dark web.

Hackers make their living selling confidential information via the dark web. Although it is difficult to hack into corporate databases, it can be extremely lucrative. Hackers must penetrate security layers to gain access to hundreds of millions of records that contain personal information. These data are often sold to the dark web or private buyers who plan to use them for fraud.

The dark web sells personal data and confidential credentials that have been stolen from compromised databases. The value of personal data can reach millions. The data can be sold for millions by those who purchase it. They will most likely use the data to commit identity theft. While hackers are most likely to target large corporations and companies, others will go after any organization that has weak security walls.

In 2018, hacker attacks on Marriot Hotel Chain were committed. In 2018, the hotel chain Marriot was hacked. It was again hacked in 2020. Is it fair to blame the IT department of the company for this attack or the hackers? While hackers are to blame, the IT department is responsible for not properly securing data.

Senior hackers may sell their credentials to junior hackers or other fraudsters, who then commit Phishing Campaigns. These individuals send spam emails to spread malware. It could be crypto-mining software or adware. Hackers can make money with each of these types.

Cybercriminals use Botnets for their money.

Botnets are often featured in the news. The Mega-D botnet was the subject of a recent news story. Another story tells the story of the WikiLeaks supporters who are furious. As part of Operation Payback, they have volunteered to allow the computers to be part of the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon).

Botnets are often used to support criminal enterprises. Their primary purpose is to make money for hackers. Martin Lee, the senior software engineer at Symantec hosted Services, says botnets are a collection of computers infected with malware and put under the control of one person.

Botnet malware can infect your computer and make it vulnerable to further infection. The computer is then able to contact the command and control server. The botnet’s control server can then issue any instructions the computer needs. It might be that the botnet administrator gives instructions to send emails to specific accounts or connect to other computers in the network. Or, it could simply instruct the user to install additional software to allow the malware to go undetected for as long as possible.

What’s the next step for cybercriminals once they have created a botnet and are successful in their endeavors to make money? How can hackers make money from botnets?

Botnet spammers make a lot of money for cybercriminals

Botnets can be used by hackers in many ways. One of the most popular ways hackers make money is to send spam. This has led to a lower click rate for spam email messages. However, spam campaigns still allow hackers to make millions each year. Spam campaigns can often be used to sell pharmaceuticals. An analysis of spam about pharmaceuticals has revealed that many of these products are either counterfeited or of the wrong dosage.

Spam has a low response rate but the botnets can send a lot of spam. Consistent profit is generated when millions of spam messages are sent.

Hackers realized that shortening URLs can increase the number of people who open their messages. Hackers have modified their methods to make it possible to whitewash or launder the URL in an email.

A breakdown

Spammers will send most of their emails undeliverable. Very few of the emails that are sent by spammers are opened or read by targeted victims. Very few people will open the emails and click the links. Very few people will click on the links to purchase the advertised products.

Only a small percentage of emails sent will succeed. It is very affordable for hackers to send millions of spam messages. Spamming remains a lucrative way to make money for hackers.

Bank accounts are robbed by cybercriminals.

Competent hackers target financial institutions in an attempt to circumvent A-class security systems. Online bank accounts can be hacked by hackers using malware. Unsuspecting users might be using infected machines. After the victim connects to an internet bank, the hidden malware steals or takes control of the credentials. The malware allows the victim to log in to their accounts and authenticate, then takes over the connection. The malware then injects money transfer commands into the system and hides these transactions so the victim doesn’t see their real balance.

You can’t trust what is displayed on your computer because of malware. You can’t trust what the hacker controls.

Cybercriminals use denial-of-service (DOS) attacks to demand Ransom.

Hackers also make their money by using a modern version of an old scheme called the protection racket. This is where the catch is that you need to find a company that does most of its business online, then take down their website until they get their cash.

The hacker can instruct the botnet computers to request pages from the victim’s website if the company is not paying the requested cash. Botnets are automated attacks that send thousands of requests per second to the website, making it impossible for clients or staff to use.

Past studies have shown that extortion demands can range from $10,000 to $50,000. This range is where victims are more likely to pay the ransom than risk their sites being taken down, potentially losing more.

Stealing intangible goods.

While only a handful of cases have been reported, hackers can make a living by stealing intangible items. Hackers might gain access to a gaming account. The hacker could then sell intangible goods that the player has acquired or accumulated in the game.

Online games are a popular way to spend time and money. Hackers have created Trojans to steal login credentials and in return, steal intangible goods. A gang of hackers specializing in intangible goods made at least $140,000 in Asia in the past.

Holding Information for Ransom

Hackers make money by holding ransom information on victims’ computers. The malware encrypts the victim’s computer and makes it inaccessible. The botnet operator demands payment to decrypt the drive. Although this method is not often used, it is one-way hackers could make some extra money.

Cybercriminals make their money on online marketplaces.

Cybercriminals can make large sums of money by exploiting online marketplaces. Online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon offer conveniences that allow you to shop from your office or home. These online marketplaces often require several significant credentials, which can easily be accessed by cybercriminals to use for a variety of crimes.

Cybercriminals have ample opportunities to strike online, as fraud has increased in online marketplaces. Cybercriminals have many methods to take advantage of online markets.

  • To buy luxury goods and other luxuries, you can use stolen credit card numbers
  • Impersonation-cybercriminals can also make a living impersonating legitimate sellers. These criminals then sell counterfeit or non-existent goods. Customers have complained about receiving counterfeit or fake items, and some even claimed they were sent the wrong item. These cybercriminals want to convince victims to buy their fake goods, and then they disappear with the money.
  • Money laundering – Cybercriminals use online marketplaces to launder money. They create fake buyer and seller accounts by using stolen or fraudulent credentials. The fake buyer then buys goods at exorbitant prices from the seller’s accounts. These transactions can be used by the IRS to pretend that someone has legitimately earned money.

Cybercriminals make their money using cryptocurrencies.

Botnets and “cryptojacking” are used by cybercriminals to mine digital currency. Victims have no idea they are participating in the mining process. Due to the popularity of bitcoin, and the addition of 1500 additional digital coins or tokens, more criminals are looking for weak links in the cryptocurrency space. As more financial institutions and corporations use the underlying blockchain technology, digital currencies have become mainstream assets over the past two years.

Cybercriminals are finding creative ways to make a buck from the launching of new “alt-coins” every week. There have been an increase in mining fraud, account takeovers, and scams against initial coin offerings.

Cybercriminals use malware and phishing to gain control of a victim’s browser, then use that browser to mine digital coins for their victims without their knowledge.

Money Money

Hackers can make more money in other ways than the ones we’ve mentioned. Hacking groups are paid by governments to do crimes in their countries. Some hackers make their money as anonymous penetration testers. As long as there’s money to be made, hackers will continue hacking.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.