The demand for web application hacking services has been at an all-time high across the dark web. Threat actors have recently been patrolling the internet’s underworld to find hackers-for-hire.
Point to note, the liberal promotion of custom website hacking has not been restricted to specific industries – however, a majority of customers have been procuring these services with an intention to target online businesses.
Such a reality can be attributed to the fact that customers of such businesses have to enter their sensitive data and banking information to purchase goods off a site. Experts assert that there has been an upwards trend in the demand for web hacking services, as more and more organizations have been forced to shift their front offices online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hacking an organization’s web applications can have very serious reputational and financial consequences – including, but not limited to, sensitive data leaks, sanctions stemming from the violation of data regulations, and the occurrence of subsequent cyber-attacks through malware.
When putting up a security system, companies are advised to follow a set of risk-oriented approaches to ensuring the safety and security of employee and client data. Such approaches are built around the clear understanding of just how much damage a simple hacking attack can cause. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure.
Research on the Demand for Hackers on Darknet Forums
A group of experts from Positive Technologies have reported on their analysis of the dark web’s ten most prolific forums to weigh the current demand for hacker services in the hidden internet.
The platforms under study were identified to be darknet forums specializing in hacking online sites, trading in stolen databases, and breaching web resources.
According researchers, it turns out that for most of the services being sought after on these platforms, majority of customers are looking for a hacker, and more than half of the darknet ads focus on the demand to gain access to web resources.
The research revealed that in 90 percent of cases, darknet forum users would search for hacking services with the primary intention of seeking access to a specific web resource. In addition, the would-be customers were also searching for hackers that would download a particular user database.
Importantly, the research discovered that only 7 percent of the darknet forum messages that were discovered featured people offering to breach websites. The remaining 3 percent included messages that had promotional importance – they advertised hacking tools, software, and calls to find like-minded actors to talk about hacking experiences.
While commenting on the latest findings of the research, Positive Technologies analyst, Yana Yurakova, intimated that the organization detected a rise in interest for website hacking since March last year.
According to the expert, such a surge in the number of dark web ads for such services may be attributed to the fact that a host of companies went online following the COVID-related restrictions on in-person corporate.
For organizations looking to stay clear of the dangers of darknet hackers on the loose, an adherence to clear security protocols is paramount.
The elements of secure development and automated source code analysis can go a long way to cushion companies from impending cyber-attacks. Such tools work to identify errors and vulnerabilities that may be explored by various classes of threat actors.
The above premise is pegged on past research findings that 82 percent of all vulnerabilities exploited by hackers were found to originate from the web application code.
Indeed, it is critical for organizations to understand the importance of regularly scanning their web application security whilst combining such analysis with web application firewalls for round-the-clock protection against imminent breaches.