Technological innovation has accomplished many feats, most of which are overall positive for our society, while some of them are a bit dubious in nature. Things consumers don’t understand properly are automatically classified as “potential threats”. Whether we’re talking about Bitcoin, or a marketplace for professional hackers, there are clear advantages to both ideas.
Hacker’s List – Professional Hackers For Hire
There are two different type of hackers in the cyber security world: white-hat hackers and black-hat hackers. white-hat hackers are security experts who probe security systems in order to conduct vulnerability checks, and work together with companies and law enforcement to sort these issues. In fact, there are several white-hat hackers who were previously black-hat hackers.
Defining black-hat hackers is slightly more confusing though. First and foremost, a black-hat hacker can be seen azs a typical cyber criminal attempting to gain access to networks and internet services without authorization. On top of that, black-hat hackers are also known for creating botnets, computers infected with malware or a virus, and use that combined computational power to attack other networks or platforms.
One of the more common practices conducted by black-hat hackers is email spamming. Even though spam emails have decreased year over year, there is still a market for such services. To put it mildly, a skilled black-hat hacker can be the worst nightmare of security firms and major companies. However, small companies or even individual users are an equally interesting target for black-hat hackers.
Hacker’s List, a website/marketplace launched by Charles Tendell in 2014, can be seen as a platform to connect white-hat security experts with people facing cyber-problems they cannot solve on their own. After all, there are plenty of companies and individual users who face a serious cyber-related problem, and have no idea what to do next. On paper, a service such as Hacker’s List sounds very promising, despite the word “hacker” in the marketplace’s name.
“Hacker’s List is meant to connect consumers who have online issues to hackers or professionals out there who have the skills to service them, Consumers get bullied online, they lose personal information, they have things stolen from them, they get locked out of things, and they have people post negative things or post personal information. They didn’t have a place to go to be able to get help and make sure they’re getting the right price or the best person for a particular job. That’s what Hacker’s List is for.”
Even though Hacker’s List is advertised as a platform to display that not all hackers are “pure evil”, the message does not seem to be getting through to the consumer. Most of the requests posted on the marketplace are regarding illegitimate issues, as several users desperately struggle to get their hands on a black-hat hacker, rather than a white-hat security expert.
Making Money From Hacker’s List Is Not Easy
Misinterpretation of what and who this marketplace is aimed at is just one of the many struggles this platform is facing. Despite having a large list of available white-hat security experts on Hacker’s List, only a few people have actually made money by listing their services on the marketplace. Considering there are over 3,000 profiles registered as “services for hire”, and only a handful of those people making a few hundred USD each since November of 2014, things need to change sooner or later.
One of the things that could be causing this is that there are no official numbers regarding “active” white-hat security experts on Hacker’s List. There is a good chance that a lot of the initial registered users abandoned the service once they noticed people misunderstood the ideology of this service, while leaving their profile on the site.
But Hacker’s List has got some things going for it as well, as the platform itself is somewhat easy to use. Customers can post the project they are requiring assistance with, and the “hackers” will bid on the project of their interest. Based on those bids, the customer can then select the white-hat security expert they want to enlist, while Hacker’s List will act as an intermediary [by holding customer funds in escrow until the project is completed].
The listing of new projects goes through a hybrid process of human vetting combined with automated software checks. That being said, there are still a lot of illegitimate and unethical hacking requests appearing on the platform every day. The addition of a “moderation” button – so users can flag bad projects themselves – allows the Hacker’s Life community to get involved and do their due diligence.
Note from the Author: It is important to note that Hacker’s Life is a platform that aims to eliminate any and all anonymity. Users who sign up will need to verify their identity, which gives the platform a legally binding document, holding the individual responsible for all liabilities if their intentions are less than honorable.
A Huge Potential for Bitcoin Companies
One of the issues that has been plaguing Bitcoin since day one are its security measures employed by services and companies in the digital currency space. Despite facing a “hacker threat” since day one, Bitcoin exchanges and other services are still getting hacked this very day. Conducting a proper security audit is not an easy task, because it is increasingly difficult to find proper security experts to assist in the matter.
This is where Hacker’s Life could play a major role, as this marketplace provides Bitcoin companies with a wide selection of white-hat security experts for all ethical purposes. Rather than relying on people within the Bitcoin community, a fresh set of eyes can be incredibly valuable and beneficial in terms of improving security. And who knows, maybe they will even accept Bitcoin as a payment.
If Bitcoin wants to become a mainstream trend, security efforts will need to be ramped up. Putting the individual in control of their finances is a big step for most consumers, and if the platforms providing these tools are not secured properly, mainstream adoption will never be achieved. Hacker’s List could have huge potential to help developers and engineers build a better and more secure future for Bitcoin companies in general.
Do you see a potential upside for using hacker’s List security experts to increase Bitcoin security? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Ars Technica
Images courtesy of Hacker’s List and Shutterstock