When you think about criminals that sit behind the computer to do their crimes you kind of think about them in a different light than you do regular criminals.
A lot of people tend to think of black hat hackers as people who are reclusive geniuses. They think that they are geniuses and that they are mad at the world. The vibe that the mainstream media gives off when they discuss hacking stories makes it seem like everyone one of them is a mini Dr Evil from the Austin Power movies.
In real life that is rarely the case. People who are considered a black hat hacker have developed a skill. They are not all super geniuses.
While you will find that a lot of them are very smart, not all of them are. Just because you are very smart in one area does not mean that you are very smart in all aspects of life. It just means that you had the time and the patience to learn a skill that truly interests you. A good example of this is how many of the black hat hackers out there get caught. They are caught by making the same mistakes that any other criminal would. If they were all super geniuses you would think that they would know how to avoid the same mistakes that others have made.
Let’s take for example a case that just happened recently. If you have paid attention to the news in the past couple of months, there was a hacking group that was called Anonymous who were causing mischief all over the net. Some of the mischief that they were causing was for a good cause and some of it was just to have fun. Anonymous is a loose group of individuals from all around the world. Eventually some of the people decided that they wanted to split off from the main group and go on their own. This splinter group was called LuLzSec and they had a more notorious nature than the original Anonymous did. Their whole motto was to go after people and corporations just for the LuLz. The “LuLz” is hacker speak meaning just for the fun of it. And for a while, a lot of their antics were making big waves both in the hacker community and in the mainstream news.
Apparently one of their members was caught by the FBI. The official story in how he was caught is that he logged into a SSH terminal session one time without security surrounding it. This mistake meant that the FBI was able to catch him. So he made a simple mistake and got caught. After he was caught there were few threats made by the FBI. This made him turn around and start to work with the government against his friends. For months he pretended as if there was nothing wrong. But all the while he was setting up his friends to take a major fall. And the friends trusted him because he was one of the original leaders of the group. They never thought in a million years that he would not only get caught but would also rat out his friends.
So as you can see, the same thing that happens with normal career criminals happened to one of the biggest hacker groups out right now. This was just another case of human nature being able to trump so called genius. When you are involved with crime, your nerves start to take over and you miss things. Simple things that will end up later allow you to get caught. And that is what the police hope to pounce on. They want you to be nervous. They want you to always look over your shoulder no matter what you do. They know that as long as they have patience that you will slip up one way or another. And they have all the time in the world to wait for that to happen.
This same story has happened to other hacking groups as well. Or other spam groups and any other crime that is committed over the internet. The one thing that we are starting to see more and more on the internet is the rise of the professional criminal. The bad guys are seeing how much money can be made on the internet and they want a piece. It is a lot harder to catch career criminals because they have already made mistakes and have been caught so they learn from it. They take what they know and they try to get better.
A hacker that is a criminal does not automatically equal being a genius. They are normal criminals that just happen to be black hat hackers. They can be caught the same way that normal criminals are.