Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Hackers Offering Online Courses for Hacker Wannabes

By - Source: RSA Security | B 9 comments

It's like going to an online college.

Want to make a career out of hacking? Forget the self-help tutorials and lurking on IRC for occasional words of wisdom. Take the college student route and dump tons of money into courses so that you can be all the hacker you can be, the right way. That's what RSA Security says it has discovered over the last few weeks: paid courses by "pro" hackers for budding hackers.

"RSA has observed a spike in the availability of cybercrime courses, lessons, counseling and tutoring that are being offered to help fraudsters achieve their career goals," states cyber intelligence expert Limor Kessem. "In what appears to mimic the course catalog model adopted by many legitimate universities, senior fraudsters are turning their expertise into a professorship, helping newcomers master everything from the basic business of fraud to how to avoid law enforcement."

MORE: Should You Trust U.S. Companies with Your Data?

According to the report, these paid courses are advertised in the "underground," and typically conducted via Skype videoconferencing. This method allows the classes to be interactive so that makeshift "professors" can partake in Q&A sessions with "students," provide live visual examples, and so on. That said, it's no wonder why the NSA is spying on Microsoft's popular VoIP client (and probably taking notes).

"These fraudster trade schools further offer 'job placement' for graduates through their many underground connections with other experienced criminals," Kessem reports. "'Professors' will even vouch for star students to help them join the underground communities they would otherwise not be able to access."

There are even rigid classroom rules such as providing professors with a two-hour notice in advance if students cannot make it to class. If they do fail to show up, students are fined 50 percent of the fee, and rescheduled for the next class. Those who fail to pay absentee fees will forfeit the entire deposited fee. The firm didn't state what would happen if students sail a paper airplane or cuss the professor out.

As for the actual courses, there's a lot. The first level of courses is designed for beginners, teaching the basics of online financial fraud such as The Business of Fraud, Legal Aspects, Building Your Business, and Transaction Security. The cost of each lecture is 2,500 Russian Rubles, or around $75 USD. There's also a School of Carding (Basic and Advanced), Courses in Card Fraud, Anonymity and Security courses, and Mule Herding courses at various prices.

There are also "special" courses that cover Banking and Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Registering and Using Shell Corporations, Legal Liability Issues, and Setting Up Anonymity. These cost 2,000 Rubles, or around $60 USD per hour.

"As the Fraud-as-a-Service economy continues to evolve and the criminal underground sees new members join its ranks, it is only logical that underground vendors would view this as an opportunity to pad their income by offering a training ground for the 'next generation' of cybercriminals," she writes.

The great lengths these "professors" have gone in creating a college-like environment not only reveals a way to generate money off potential students, but to expand a network of highly-skilled cybercriminals. The move also reveals a new breed of hackers that are less cautious than the generation before thanks to a rapidly growing underground network, and the sophistication of fraud as a service.

Web surfers looking to be totally anonymous may want to take the Anonymity course. For $99 USD, students learn how to properly configure TOR browsers, Windows security, permanently remove data, use disposable email and more. Other $99 classes include using botnets, safely using chat channels, and a tutorial about "electronic evidence."

Do these "professors" have financial aid?

Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    spiketheaardvark , September 20, 2013 12:11 PM
    You have much to learn if you're giving credit card information to a
  • 5 Hide
    spiketheaardvark , September 20, 2013 12:15 PM
    You have a lot to learn if you're giving credit card information to a "hacker"
  • 5 Hide
    COLGeek , September 20, 2013 12:55 PM
    ..and a fool shall soon be parted with his money.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    John Bauer , September 20, 2013 12:58 PM
    Cool, where can I sign up?
  • 0 Hide
    wopr11 , September 20, 2013 1:28 PM
    You need to register as soon as possible - all personnel at the NSA are registered already, paid by the US taxpayers.
  • -1 Hide
    wopr11 , September 20, 2013 1:29 PM
    they'll ensure the "Fraud as a service" economy continues to thrive...
  • -1 Hide
    dalethepcman , September 20, 2013 3:22 PM
    I would like to sign up for one of these classes just for pentesting scenarios to see what level of training is being offered on the black market and to see how it compares to the more official training venues.
  • 2 Hide
    hammer85 , September 20, 2013 10:11 PM
    $60 USD per hour! Now that's real hacking!!
  • -2 Hide
    TammyHi17765516 , September 21, 2013 1:26 PM
    Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.
    ------------->>> http://ddp.net/blue48.amp
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter