If you haven’t been exploited by a hacker yet, consider yourself lucky. Those of you who don’t know if you have or haven’t been hacked yet, I recommend running a virus scan immediately. Believe it or not, hackers usually design viruses to steal your information, extort you for money, or simply wreak havoc on your machine. If you don’t believe me then maybe you need to take a look at this article, which explains why your antivirus sucks. Hackers make money from their victims.
How Hackers Steal Your Information
Usually when a hacker steals your information, they do it silently. So you won’t notice anything different on your computer at home. Everything will be the same as usual. Until one day, eventually you come home and you can’t log in to your Chase account anymore, and all of your money has disappeared.
How does this happen? You were probably surfing the web for things that you shouldn’t have been. Or maybe you just click and installed something sketchy. One easy example would be by searching for a free video game online. You downloaded the installer, and ran it but nothing happens. Your game isn’t installed and you continue about, trying to find this video game for free. In all reality you’ve installed a virus without knowing.
Once the hacker has the virus installed on your computer, the hacker has a backdoor. This backdoor usually gives the hacker freedom to do whatever they please on your computer. Root access is the key to a hackers dreams. Now they can steal all of those passwords you seem to forget, stored in your FireFox browser auto-fill file. They can login to your Facebook, steal your identity, and ruin whatever comes across their path or sell that information to someone else.
How Hackers Make Money by Selling Your Information
Hackers can take all of that information that they stole from you and sell it online believe it or not. Even though it may be illegal, there is always a black market. One easy example of this would be the “Dark Web“. You can sell anything there. And by anything, I mean anything.
There are shotty websites on the dark web where you can sell credit card info, bank account logins, porn (not going into detail), guns, and even people. So trust me, there’s always someone out there willing to buy this information.
Hackers make money also by using your computer to DDoS websites, mine Bitcoin, steal your email contacts, and do just about anything else that comes to mind. As long as it’s something on a computer, a hacker will re-purpose your information or computing power to their command.
In fact, in May of 2017 there was a major virus breakout named “WannaCry”. It infected around ~230,000+ computers across the world. This hack used 7 exploits that the NSA knew about but never disclosed to MicroSoft. This virus infected computers and encrypted all files on the users computer. The hackers then extorted the owners for $300+ in Bitcoin in order to un-encrypt their information on their computers.
Another example of this would be the hack of Equifax in May of 2017. Equifax was hacked due to poor practice. The username and password of their database were both “admin”. This caused 140,000,000+ consumers data told to be stolen.
So yes, hackers make money by selling your information. I would recommend running a virus scan, and stay on the safe side. Cross your fingers and hope you aren’t the next victim.