Despite it’s corrupted demeanor if you clear your vision and decide to be liberal about it, you will find that the dark web can actually be an excellent avenue to source for new, raw and progressively-aggressive talent.
A fabled Russian Ransomware crew seems to have already discovered that and they are in the process of onboarding new and able staff. They could also be on a humorous impulse to stir up some attention on the underbelly of the darknet.
It is a topic of most online discussions since the time it was discovered. The vicious group by the name of Sodinokibi also happens to be the creators of the infamous REvil ransomware which has put up a solid $15,000 as an incentive for the first place champion in an illicit hacking contest.
The rules are quite simple. The participants in the competition are required to draft an original conceptual article together with the proof thereof and the relevant source code.
The articles were to cover either one of the five different themes which included but were not limited to; APT attacks, developing in searching for 0day and 1day vulnerabilities and ways on how to access other people’s crypto algorithms. Additionally, as part of his winnings, the overall champion will get an opportunity to develop their career with the organization under mutually beneficial terms.
The competition was made publically known through the XSS forum which shows a number of Sodinokibi representatives present in its members’ list. The occurrence of such Hack-Olympics in the dark web is far from new, as a statement from expert researchers suggested.
One noteworthy thing, however, is the jaw-dropping incline in the prize rewards that are being offered lately. To support this claim, researchers have noted that since XSS resurfaced in 2018, thedamelgabs have gon on to organize a total of three article competitions all of which have an estimated total of four to five-figure price rewards.
Most of the legal IT-based competitions only offer so little as an iPad as a reward. Speculative reasons by advanced researches on the motivations of such competitions are vast and diverse. Some claim that they are a way of honing the cumulative skill-set of the forum members. Also, a way to increase the visibility of the forum to the community.
Some also claim that these contests are conducted to expand the knowledge reach on the innovative future of malware development.
Given the vast competition for a substantially attractive fan base and following, there is a lingering need for dark web actors to find ingenious ways of pulling and retaining their clients and subscribers.
For this reason, such dark web Hack-Olympics provide an excellent drive for dark web actors to cling on to their enthusiasts by providing them with incentives like outstanding prize rewards and an extensive inventory of proven concepts and ready-to-apply source codes that come about as a result of these competitions.
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