The life of a hacker: what it’s like to be a cybercriminal


Cyber ​​incidents make headlines every day, with black hat hackers playing by different rules, let me try to draw a fictional scenario.

your looks

Absolute anonymity is the most important thing in this shady hustle and bustle. The starting point is the assessment of your appearance. They must look typical and unobtrusive. Forget about fancy hairstyles (Mohawk, long and dyed hair), bright or unusual clothes, such as sunglasses. B. Heavy metal themed outfits. They must look neat, stylish and businesslike. Despite the saying that clothes don’t make a man, people still judge you by your looks when they first meet you.

legal competence

Next, you should check the relevant legislation to be aware of the penalties for crimes you may commit in the future. Knowledge of the law will come in handy in difficult circumstances.

Mobile phones

Also, reconsider the way you use your cell phone. This is the greatest scourge of the modern criminal world. All major investigations involve phone tapping and other types of monitoring and tracking of cellphone subscribers. You can switch to a smartphone with crypto messengers installed and only use it for online activities, preferably with a separate mobile broadband modem without a SIM card in the device itself. You should replace the modem with a new one from time to time. If you need to make an urgent call, use a burner phone. Any SIM cards you use should not be associated in any way with your real identity.

identity card

Get fake ID and fake driver’s license. This helps hide your personal information, which you should protect to the best of your ability. Here’s an example of why it’s important: while tailing a vehicle, detectives can contact the highway patrol for assistance in identifying the suspect. You think it’s just a mundane lure to look at your driver’s license, but actually you’re already on the hook.

Social networks

If you have social network accounts, you should delete them. Alternatively, you can provide misinformation in it, for example by replacing your photos with someone else’s. When law enforcement is after you, the first thing they do is analyze social media. In addition, social networks can leak your IP address, which can lead detectives to your mobile broadband modem that you always have with you.


Pay special attention to how you move. If you drive a car, officially it shouldn’t be your property. Be unpredictable when driving: drive through a yellow light and occasionally make abrupt and unexpected turns. This is how you can find out if you are being followed. Also, check your rearview mirror at least as often as you look ahead.

Walking is certainly not as convenient as driving a car, but it is so much easier to maintain your anonymity. You can easily and quickly get into a taxi or public transport, making it difficult for anyone watching you to do their job.


A computer is still the main tool for almost all shady cyber activities, be it malware distribution, DDoSing or phishing. You should take this facet of your ostensible job seriously. First, prepare the machine itself by pulling out the camera and microphone. Choose a Linux-based operating system like Tails. Then get ready to go online – that’s the most important part. Skip wired internet – use cellular modems instead. You must also become familiar with the basic applications and tools that keep your computing experience anonymous and secure. These include Tor Browser, VPN services, Jabber, TrueCrypt, OTR (Off-the-Record Messaging), etc.


Your behavior outdoors and your communication with family and girls should not give anyone a clue as to what you are actually doing. Be sure to think of a life story that you can fluently tell people as if it were true.


If you travel by train or plane, remember that all your data stays in their database. If someone else is going with you, never request adjacent seats at check-in; Otherwise, these individuals could also find themselves in the spotlight of law enforcement. This is especially important when you are traveling with other hackers.

To be sober

Sobriety is a prerequisite for success. A foggy mind will prevent you from making the right decisions quickly, so do not abuse drugs and alcohol. You can and must relax, but you shouldn’t be in a constant state of intoxication. In this way, it is very easy to lose vigilance.

a house

Your place of residence should not be the same as your official address. Renting an apartment is the best option as you can easily move to a new place and use your fake ID on the lease. Once you get your first easy cash, don’t rush into buying property – it could cause additional problems.

To recap, a successful black hat hacker must be smart, brave, dangerous, fast, sober, polite, strong, and smart.


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