Top 5 Ways To Make Money Hacking in 2021 | .cult by Honeypot (2023)

There’s so much to learn it feels never-ending — the more you learn the less you know. The great thing about hacking though is even if you are a beginner there’s money that can be made while you gain experience, I guess that's why you are here. To make money hacking...

If you're new to hacking, check out this article to get you on the right track: How To Become a Hacker in a Year!

How do hackers make money?

Whether you want to take your hacking skills corporate or freelance, I want you to remember to always stay on the ethical side of the internet. You can’t treat this like a game, what you are about to do is ‘attack’ real-life companies. It’s about finding the weaknesses, not exploiting them. So how do hackers make money? Here are five ways you can make money hacking in 2021!

1. Bug Bounties

You probably know what a bug bounty is even if you don’t recognise the name. You know when big-shot hackers get a six-figure bonus for a job, well, that’s a bug bounty. Big tech companies (like Google) will invite a talented group of security researchers (hackers) to hack their software. These jobs are usually posted on bug bounty websites. If the hacker can identify a threat or a weakness in the software they usually get a cash reward and get ranked on a hacking leaderboard. Although a lot of hackers who hunt for bug bounties do manage to pocket some extra cash on the side, not every hacker should expect to get a huge payday. It’s still pretty cool considering a lot of these guys started hacking as a hobby. I’m not saying the bounties are simple either, so don’t think the money comes easy.

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For me, I began hacking with no prior knowledge or experience and after just three months I hacked my way onto the top 20 hacker profiles on intigriti. I made over €3,000 in this time, simply by finding logic vulnerabilities. My favourite bounty was actually one I found by accident. I put XSS attack vectors into input fields and was able to completely take over an account by stealing the session cookies. This accident made me €750.

So what I’m saying is it’s still worth a shot regardless of your experience, I’m a perfect example of that. Now I don’t hunt so many bounties, I prefer to focus more on penetration testing which brings me to my next point.

2. Penetration testing

A penetration tester is a hacker who gets hired by a client to test the required scope items. That’s a little vague but basically, when a company designs a new product or feature, penetration testing is required to ensure the product is safe from hackers or malware. The hacker follows a procedure based on what they are testing. A penetration tester can test many different things like APIs, product features, or a company's infrastructure.

Penetration testing jobs are on the rise, which means there’s money and plenty of opportunities. If you go get a certificate like an OSCP, it’ll help you stand out from the crowd. I recommend it. Also, a great thing to do while you're training to become a penetration tester is to start publicly sharing any info or research you might be learning. Community work is a great look for employers and it also builds up your online reputation and network.

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So penetration testing is another great way to make money with your hacking skills. The thing is, it requires more training than chasing bounties. You need to be at a proficiency where you can comfortably work at a company that specialises in penetration testing. Which isn’t easy since it’s a lot of self-learning. There’s no school that teaches hacking. You kind of have to just test and try different attack scenarios, and be able to show it.

If you do land a job, well, good news, your salary can easily grow up to $100,000 (US). The average salary for a pentester is $86,241 with juniors generally starting out at $59,000, and quickly rising. Not bad money if you can get your foot in the door.

3. Training others

Now that you know how hackers operate, you can help others by teaching them how to hack ethically or defend themselves against bad actors. You can help contribute to a safer internet by informing people about the dangers and training them on how to defend themselves all while making some extra doe. If you are really passionate about training, you could go full-time, there’s ample opportunity between emerging technologies and better tools.

Besides teaching online, it’s always helpful for experienced hackers to share what why to know with the newbies. Youtube is a great place to start for example. You can upload videos where you talk about your experiences and share thoughts and techniques. You can grow an audience and create another revenue stream if you’re really dedicated. Remember, it only takes 1,000 hours of watch time and 1,000 subscribers, for you to start earning money.

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For the camera-shy, how about a blog? Write down all the new things you learned. There are sites like Medium which can earn you money for your writings, and offers a place to grow an audience. Whatever it is, YouTube, Medium, Twitter — the earlier you start building your audience the better.

And look, down the line, once you’ve mastered some hacking skills, you might wanna create some courses, like me. There’s a bunch of platforms, Udemy is probably one of the most popular but see what works for you!

4. Helping people after a cyber attack

With covid-19 rising, we also saw a big increase in cybersecurity attacks on companies and consumers. With your newfound knowledge of these cyberattacks, you might be able to help the victims of these attacks recover and if you are providing them with tech support, you can certainly make some good coin with this method. You can possibly offer to remove any viruses that were installed or possibly try to recover data from a crashed system.

I made sure to let every business near me know that I was a security engineer and that if they needed me, they could always reach out to me. About 2 days after I gave my number to a local car dealership they got hit with a crypto locker. These viruses are designed to encrypt all of the user's files and demand ransom for the key to decrypt them. Luckily I had an unlocker for this specific virus and I was able to decrypt all the files with no damage done. Needless to say, they were very grateful for this.

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You don’t have to go that big though, you can also start smaller and just help out a family member or friend in need. There’s always a relative who needs a repair, and you can let them know if there’s a crisis situation you’re there to help. It’ll prevent a lot of damage plus you’ll build up your experience and resume.

Lastly, it never hurts to put out posters that contain descriptions of what you are capable of in locations that allow it. People in need might see this and contact you. I’d mention what your prices are as well to help them make a more informed choice.

5. Doing research into hacking

If you are the kind of person that likes to take everything to the extreme and to be at the forefront of a field, there’s great potential in hacking. It might not seem like it because when you discover something completely new, there seems to be no immediate reward. For example, we can report defects to companies that we have found but if they are unresponsive and don’t really perceive the threat, there’s not much we can do.

After the issue has been fixed however and on the condition that you leave out any details that might reveal your target, it's possible to start writing or producing videos about what you found and how you did it. There are a lot of hackers who are always interested to learn new things and you can get paid to start if a blog or youtube channel gets popular enough. You can keep growing these social media channels as you go along and make new discoveries.

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FAQs

How do hackers get rich? ›

The primary strategy to earn money as a hacker is to steal sensitive data, sell it or require someone to pay for it. For example, once a cybercriminal leaks the company's customers' database, he would usually upload it to the dark web or hackers' forums for sale.

What do most hackers use to hack? ›

Besides social engineering and malvertising, common hacking techniques include:
  • Botnets.
  • Browser hijacks.
  • Denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Ransomware.
  • Rootkits.
  • Trojans.
  • Viruses.
  • Worms.

Who is the No 1 hacker in world? ›

Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick speaking at Cyber Incursion event 2018. He spoke about social engineering and its risks for users.
BornKevin David Mitnick August 6, 1963 Van Nuys, California, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Other namesThe Condor, The Darkside Hacker
7 more rows

How do thieves hack bank accounts? ›

The simpler means of attack is by spoofing an existing banking app. A malware author creates a perfect replica of a bank's app and uploads it to third-party websites. Once you've downloaded the app, you enter your username and password into it, which is then sent to the hacker.

How do phone hackers steal money? ›

“By phishing your credentials, thieves can get into your phone. They change your password so you're locked out, and they find ways to steal your money,” said Rodger Desai, CEO of Payfone. Hackers are incredibly savvy, but there are some things you can do to safeguard your information.

How do hackers steal data? ›

In order to steal this data, hackers compromise online platforms such as bookings sites, social media sites and e-commerce websites. It is estimated that in 2019 so far, 2.7 billion records containing personal data was posted online for sale.

What code do hackers use? ›

Python ranks as the number one popular programming language in the world, according to 2022 Tiobe Index data. It's also a popular language with hackers because it provides powerful and easy-to-use libraries enabling them to work quickly.

What is used to hack? ›

Programming languages that are used for hacking include PHP, SQL, Python, Ruby, Bash, Perl, C, C++, Java, VBScript, Visual Basic, C Sharp, JavaScript, and HTML. Few Hacking Certifications include: CEH. GIAC.

Which country has best hackers? ›

Top Ten Hacking Countries
1.China41 percent (of the world's attack traffic)
2.U.S.10 percent
3.Turkey4.7 percent
4.Russia4.3 percent
5.Taiwan3.7 percent
5 more rows
Apr 23, 2013

What are good hackers called? ›

White hat hackers – sometimes also called “ethical hackers” or “good hackers” – are the antithesis of black hats. They exploit computer systems or networks to identify their security flaws so they can make recommendations for improvement.

How much do hackers earn? ›

According to Payscale, those with a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential earn a median base pay of $82,966—more than $3,000 more than the average for all ethical hackers [3].

How can I withdraw money without PIN? ›

Here are five options:
  1. Use your debit card as a credit card.
  2. Withdraw cash from your bank using a bank teller (AMTs will not work).
  3. Buy a money order.
  4. Cardless-enabled ATMs.
  5. Pinless debt card transactions.
Oct 7, 2022

Can you steal money from ATM? ›

If you are caught stealing cash from an ATM machine you can be charged with multiple crimes. The two most likely charges will be criminal theft and criminal damage. A person can be charged with both crimes regarding a single incident because they concentrate on separate acts committed during the event.

What bank gets hacked the most? ›

Now we shift our focus to the top five most impactful financial, credit and banking data breaches (as well as a bonus breach) for consumers.
  • Capital One. ...
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. ...
  • CardSystems. ...
  • BNY Mellon Shareowner Services. ...
  • Scottrade. ...
  • Bonus Breach: First American Financial Corp.
Nov 12, 2019

How do cyber criminals steal money? ›

Phishing

With phishing, hackers attempt to steal valuable information by impersonating a trusted source. Phishing schemes can come in several different forms, including phone calls, fake websites and sales emails.

How do criminals steal money online? ›

Phishing scams.

Phishing scams are when cybercriminals install malicious software onto your device, after you click on a link that you received in an email or social media message, in order to trick you into sharing login credentials to your bank account, social network, work account, or cloud storage provider.

How do cybercriminals steal money? ›

Through phishing scams, fraudsters trick individuals into sharing passwords, which allows access to cryptocurrency wallets to steal funds. Ransomware — Hackers are increasingly targeting computer systems for takeover and offering access back only upon a ransom payment.

How do thieves get card numbers? ›

Using card skimmers or shimmers

These small devices collect credit card data from the card's magnetic strips, which criminals then use to create a cloned card. Thieves install skimmers on ATMs, gas pumps, and other publicly available card readers. Shimmers are the natural evolution of card skimmers.

Can you hack a phone through text? ›

Android phones can get infected by merely receiving a picture via text message, according to research published Monday. This is likely the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered.

What are the 3 types of hackers? ›

There are three well-known types of hackers in the world of information security: black hats, white hats and grey hats. These colored hat descriptions were born as hackers tried to differentiate themselves and separate the good hackers from the bad.

What do hackers study? ›

An individual planning to become a hacker will need to learn about programming, which is considered to be a vital step. A variety of software programs are now available that make hacking easier, however, if you want to know how it is done, you will definitely need to have basic knowledge about programming.

Can you hack with C++? ›

C ++ programming language can be used for hacking and in addition to C ++ programming language, there are other languages for hacking that we want to mention in this article.

Is Python good for hackers? ›

Besides the given reasons, Python is the most loved programming language used by hackers since it's an open-source language which means that hackers can use the stuff that other hackers have previously made. Besides being free and high-level language, it also comes with a bank of genius support.

What are the 7 types of hackers? ›

  • 1) White Hat Hackers.
  • 2) Black Hat Hackers.
  • 3) Gray Hat Hackers.
  • 4) Script Kiddies.
  • 5) Green Hat Hackers.
  • 6) Blue Hat Hackers.
  • 7) Red Hat Hackers.
  • 8) State/Nation Sponsored Hackers.
Aug 26, 2022

What are the 5 types of cyber attacks? ›

The different types of cyber-attacks are malware attack, password attack, phishing attack, and SQL injection attack.

Do hackers use VPN? ›

This guide will reveal the five top VPN services for hackers. Do Hackers Use ExpressVPN? Yes, ethical hackers use ExpressVPN for extra anonymity and protection online.

What do cyber hackers want? ›

Stolen personal information is fuel for identity theft

Many online services require users to fill in personal details such as full name, home address and credit card number. Criminals steal this data from online accounts to commit identity theft, such as using the victim's credit card or taking loans in their name.

Do hackers make their own tools? ›

Most often, no one is trying to reinvent the wheel when they write their own tools. They simply have a specific result which they need that tool to achieve and it may be a way in which the original creators did not intend/think of.

What education is needed to become a hacker? ›

Educational Requirements

Most ethical hacking jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, or a related field. Coursework can be substituted for sufficient experience in some cases.

How much do hackers get paid? ›

As of Oct 15, 2022, the average monthly pay for a Hacker in the United States is $7,063 a month. While ZipRecruiter is seeing monthly salaries as high as $13,875 and as low as $1,500, the majority of Hacker salaries currently range between $4,166 (25th percentile) to $9,708 (75th percentile) across the United States.

How do cyber criminals steal money? ›

Through phishing scams, fraudsters trick individuals into sharing passwords, which allows access to cryptocurrency wallets to steal funds. Ransomware — Hackers are increasingly targeting computer systems for takeover and offering access back only upon a ransom payment.

How much are hackers making? ›

The national average for an ethical hacking job in the US is around $119,000. The lowest paying region is Minneapolis at around $97,000 while the highest is San Francisco where the average is $150,000.

Do all cyber criminals want money? ›

It would seem, at first glance, that financial gain is the main motivator of cybercrime. Indeed, according to a global study conducted by Verizon, financial gain accounted for 41% of cyber-attacks. Combined with espionage, it makes up almost 70% of cybercrime motivators.

What companies hire hackers? ›

Top 10 Highest-Paying Ethical Hacker Companies
CompanySalary for Ethical Hackers
IBM$110,457
Little Caesars$107,861
Test$102,931
US Army$96,000
6 more rows
Feb 24, 2022

How much do NSA hackers make? ›

Normally the title 10 pay is around $160,000-$300,000, so in general the bulk of hackers would fall under the GS pay scale ranging from GS-9 to GS-14 Step 6. Anything higher would have to be negotiated and justified during the hiring process or worked into a promotion for those already working for the government.

What to study if you want to be a hacker? ›

So, let's explore the skills required to become an ethical hacker.
  • Computer Networking Skills. One of the most important skills to become an ethical hacker is networking skills. ...
  • Computer Skills. ...
  • Linux Skills. ...
  • Programming Skills. ...
  • Basic Hardware Knowledge. ...
  • Reverse Engineering. ...
  • Cryptography Skills. ...
  • Database Skills.
Jan 4, 2022

How do thieves get card numbers? ›

Using card skimmers or shimmers

These small devices collect credit card data from the card's magnetic strips, which criminals then use to create a cloned card. Thieves install skimmers on ATMs, gas pumps, and other publicly available card readers. Shimmers are the natural evolution of card skimmers.

How do hackers get credit card details? ›

Malware and spyware

Accidentally downloading malware or spyware can enable hackers to access information stored on your computer, including credit card information and other details. Malware may include a keylogger that records your keystrokes or browser history and then sends that information to a hacker.

Can you hack a phone through text? ›

Android phones can get infected by merely receiving a picture via text message, according to research published Monday. This is likely the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered.

Are ethical hackers rich? ›

Ethical hackers, can make millions when companies pay them for breaking past their security, exposing their vulnerabilities and checking the security of their IT systems.

How much do illegal hackers make? ›

The study, Into the Web of Profit, claimed that even “mid-level” hackers could earn as much as $900,000 annually – more than double the US presidential salary. Those at the “entry-level” of their black hat trade can expect to make over $40,000, more than a UK university graduate.

Are there good hackers? ›

White hat hackers – sometimes also called “ethical hackers” or “good hackers” – are the antithesis of black hats. They exploit computer systems or networks to identify their security flaws so they can make recommendations for improvement.

What do cyber attackers want? ›

Most often, cyber attacks happen because criminals want your: business' financial details. customers' financial details (eg credit card data) sensitive personal data.

What do cyber criminals want? ›

Most cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers who want to make money. However, occasionally cybercrime aims to damage computers or networks for reasons other than profit. These could be political or personal.

What are some motivations to hack? ›

6 Motivations of Cyber Criminals
  • Financial Gain. The primary motivation of a hacker is money, and getting it can be done with a variety of methods. ...
  • Recognition & Achievement. ...
  • Insider Threats. ...
  • Political Motivation – “Hacktivism” ...
  • State Actors. ...
  • Corporate Espionage.
Mar 3, 2022

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