“Black hat” hacker claims to earn $20,000 per hour – but Reddit doubts it

A self-styled “hacker” claims that crime can pay – saying that his 3 million-strong PC botnet earns him up to “$15,000 to $20,000” per hour.

The comments were revealed in a Reddit AMA in which a site user revealed the details of building and running his own cybercrime operation.

The hacker – under the username throw4way1945 – claimed to be able to send 90 million spams per day, and orchestrate phishing and DDoS attacks to order. The thread attracted dozens of questions.

Sites such as GigaOm suggested the thread offered an insight into the everyday life of those who use hacking skills to make money. “It turns out that the best Black Hat hackers run their operations just like any other business,” GigaOm wrote.

Not all Reddit users were convinced however, and a moderator removed the AMA, commenting, “ This whole thread reeks of bullsh** and I’m removing it. I’m not going to drop docs on op, but he’s 95% full of sh**.”

For $150, the “hacker” claimed he could send a million spam or phishing emails in chunks of 50,000 emails, using a 3-million PC botnet he described as the “Black Shadow Project”.

“i can make 15-20k in a hour.  jail doesnt concern me,” throw4way1945 said, admitting he would work for “anyone. have 0 control over who downloads my file. i simply post a exploit kit (usually in the form of a deface) and then add the link to spam mail and send.”

“Throw4way1945” boasted that he was self-taught, and coded his own attacks over three years. Perhaps tellingly, he suggested readers could learn more about him on his blog – which led, of course, to a broken link.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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