Difference between Darknet Hackers & Normal web Hackers

Difference between Darknet Hackers & Normal web Hackers

Hackers come in all shapes and sizes, providing different services or having different goals for their hacking efforts. With the rise of the Darknet, there has been an emergence of Darknet hackers offering their services via Darknet communities to anybody willing to pay their fee.

There is a difference between traditional hackers on the web or out in the world vs. many of the Darknet hackers, and while there may be a crossover in skillsets, the services being offered and the people these hackers work for can be quite different.

If you’re simply curious or if you’re looking for hacking services, it’s important to understand what the differences are and where you should be looking based on your requirements.

Darknet Hackers vs. Traditional Hackers

Traditional hackers can come with a massive range of different skills and with different goals. The majority either work for their own financial gain, or enjoyment of hacking and learning, or they may be selling their skills to governments, corporations, or private organizations.

Darknet hackers typically offer their services to private individuals or smaller businesses that want information, access to somebody else’s accounts, or to cause disruption to somebody or something, such as a competitor.

While there are certainly crossovers in skills between different types of hackers, it’s the services provided and who they’re being provided to which has the biggest impact on what type of hackers you’ll find on the Darknet.

This is an important differentiator for people that are looking for Darknet hackers, as there are certain jobs that aren’t common or realistic for the lower prices you’ll find on the Dark Web.

If you’re looking for complex hacks, access to government systems, or anything that isn’t as readily offered on the Dark Web, it’s highly likely that you’re talking to a scammer rather than a real hacker.

Are Hackers Easy To Find?

Darknet hackers are readily available through many marketplaces, directly through wiki pages, or found in hacking communities that may require an invitation to join.

Hackers in the Dark Web marketplaces typically offer standard services that are quick to perform and return. Often this is social media hacking to get you into somebodies account, general information such as credit cards, or anything else that is more generalized.

Dark Web hacking communities may be open, but many require an invitation to join, so you’ll need to know somebody or participate and ask in the open communities before you’ll get access to the real hacking services available.

The Hidden Wiki and other well-known listing directories or search engines can provide direct access to Darknet hackers or hacking groups that may or may not be trustworthy. You’ll be contacting a specific entity rather than a range of different services and hackers.

Overall, hackers on the Dark Web make it much easier to find and utilize hackers for illegal activities than historically or currently on the surface web.     

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How Do You Contact Traditional Hackers?

Traditional hackers or surface web hackers offering illegal services are often referred by somebody you mutually know, such as a previous customer, or you need to post in a range of forums and communities that may or may not provide a contact.

Most lower-level illegal hacking is sold through the Dark Web these days, so many surface websites that deal in hacking information won’t provide services to you directly and will either ban you, ignore you, or direct you to the Dark Web.

Government organizations and corporations will typically hire hackers and make them employees, so they may be found through job posting sites, internal hiring, and training, or in rarer cases, they may directly contact people that have the skills they need.

For penetration testing or other hacking services, most corporations or businesses will search somewhere like google and find a computer security company to perform legal hacking against their own computer systems.

So finding illegal hacking services on the surface web is even more challenging now that the Dark Web hosts the majority of the services in a more secure and anonymous fashion. While legal hacking services will almost exclusively be found on the surface web.

Who Do Hackers Work For?

Darknet hackers and surface web hackers often have very distinct client bases that don’t often overlap, so the type of service you’re looking for will heavily dictate where you need to find your hacker.

Even if a corporate hacker provides illegal services, they will need to split their persona and services into the Dark Web and surface web so they can connect with the customers that will pay them.

Who Do Darknet Hackers Work For?

Darknet hackers provide illegal services to private citizens or smaller businesses, and the services available reflect this client base.

There is not often an ongoing relationship between the hackers and the customers, and most transactions are once-off or few and far between for specific jobs.

Corporations and government organizations aren’t looking on the Darknet for unknown hackers to perform work for them. It’s risky and potentially provides confidential information to an unknown entity.

Who Do Traditional Hackers Work For?

Traditional hackers are generally working for themselves or will be working for larger businesses or even government organizations on a contract basis or could be an employee with an ongoing relationship.

There are both legal and illegal hacking available with traditional hackers, and often this requires a high-level hacker with advanced skills or even an elite hacker that can create brand new ways to hack systems that have never been hacked before.

In many cases, traditional hackers can make more than enough money working as White Hat hackers for large organizations, so they don’t need to risk illegal hacking attempts.

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What Services Do Hackers Provide?

One of the biggest questions that many people have is what services can hackers realistically provide and what it will cost.

The prices and services between Darknet hackers and traditional web hackers are quite different, especially now that the Dark Web is becoming more mainstream with more people using it every day.

For the majority of regular people that want hacking done, the Darknet is the best place for them, and the prices will be much lower but not necessarily cheap.

Darknet Hacker Services

It’s estimated that around 90% of all community forum posts on the Dark Web are people searching for Darknet hackers, and marketplace purchases for hacking and malware services are the second-highest performed behind illegal firearms.

With its popularity and the recent mainstream news around the Dark Web, it’s the single largest and easiest-to-access source of hacking services for regular people.

General Website Hacking

General website hacking services are the most common request to Darknet hackers, with around 69% of all requests being for this hacking service. The average cost for website hacking is around $2,000.

Typically there is more to the hack, such as injecting malicious code into a website to steal information going forward or stealing confidential customer data either by a competitor or by someone that simply wants to perform identity theft on a website’s customers ultimately.

Stolen Database Information

While some customers may want to target specific websites, there are many potential buyers that simply want private information from any websites. This could be for credit card use, identity theft, or anything else you can think of.

Purchases of general database information account for around 21% of all requests and items for sale. Prices can typically range from $5 to $50 per 1,000 users provided.

The benefit to Darknet hackers is that they can resell the information as many times as they want.

Hack Social Media Accounts

One of the biggest requested hacks for Darknet hackers is to gain access to social media accounts, this can be to view private messages, or it could be to take over a large account so that you don’t need to build up your own followers.

Average prices for a social media hack are around $350, though the number of followers on the account and the complexity of gaining a specific account may increase the price.

Hacking One-On-One Training

Another major change that is new to the Dark Web is the Darknet hacker’s gig economy, people are not just using hacker services, but they are learning how to hack or provide the services themselves and making an even larger community of illegal hacking and malware services.

Private one-on-one hacker training can be provided for as little as $20, and this may allow you to start cracking passwords, accessing email accounts, and many of the more basic Darknet hacking services.

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Steal Rewards Points

Rewards points can mean big money or savings, and it’s another service that regular people can get on the Dark Web. Prices can range from $3 – $15 but often depend on which rewards program and how many points are required.

A high-profile example of this was the Hilton Honors rewards program that was hacked by Darknet hackers and sold on the Dark Web.

Access An Email Account

Hacking services like Gmail for low prices are generally not going to happen for low prices on the Darknet; however, there are Darknet hackers that can get you access to specific email accounts for as little as $90.

Often this involves tricking the account owner into clicking links or providing the password, so the service may be hit or miss depending on who’s the account you’re trying to access.

Add Or Remove Reviews Of Your Business

Another popular service from Darknet hackers is adding or removing reviews of businesses from sites like Google, Yelp, and many others. Prices can be as little as $3 per review.

This is a popular service with smaller businesses that rely on reviews and can be used to give bad reviews to competitors, remove your own bad reviews, or add good reviews to your business.

Buy Streaming Service Access

One of the cheapest services provided by Darknet hackers is access to streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and many others. The cost to get access can be as little as a once-off $1.25 payment.

The downside is that the access may not last, you may need to share with thousands of other users, or the password may be changed quickly.

Traditional Web Hacker Services

The majority of hacking services provided by traditional web hackers are legal and provided to corporations and government entities. It’s rare to find legit hackers providing illegal services through the surface web anymore.

You may find advertisements for hacking things such as social media, and email accounts, modifying credit scores, and a range of other things. However, most illegal services on the surface web are scams, not real hacking, or will be short-lived and put you at risk.

Penetration Testing

One of the most common services from traditional web hackers is penetration testing of businesses to see whether there are any flaws or known exploits that would allow Darknet hackers to access a company’s systems and steal data.

This is essentially what all businesses should be doing to safeguard their user’s data. Around 60% of businesses that experience a customer-facing hack go out of business, so it’s well worth the price.

Prices range massively depending on your needs but could range from $1,000 up to $100,000, with the average being about $10,000.


Traditional Web Hacker Services

How Do Hackers Accept Payment?

How hackers accept payment often depends on whether the services are legal or illegal. With the massive popularity and ease of use of cryptocurrency and the ability to actually use or turn payments into real cash, crypto is the best option for most hackers providing illegal services.

Darknet Hacker Payment Options

Darknet hackers will almost exclusively use cryptocurrency as their payment method; historically, this has been Bitcoin and put through a Bitcoin mixer so that payments can’t be traced for the illegal activities performed.

However, with the ability to trace Bitcoin, even after a mixer or tumbler does its work, most Dark Web transactions are switching to privacy coins such as Monero (XMR). Almost all of the major marketplaces on the Dark Web use XMR as the preferred payment method.

So far, these privacy cryptocurrencies are impossible to trace, so it makes transactions much better for hackers on the Darknet who don’t want to be caught by law enforcement.

For customers, using privacy coins means that you need to trust the hackers, or you need to use an escrow account that marketplaces may provide. If your service isn’t provided or isn’t what you expected, there is often no real recourse or option to recover your money.

Also, as a customer, it’s best to use a privacy coin as well, because you may be buying from law enforcement, or somebody may be wanting to trace back to you for other nefarious reasons. If a hacker is caught, their payment history may be reviewed, so it’s good to stay anonymous on both sides.

Remember that you’re buying illegal hacking services with untraceable cryptocurrency payments. Trust and research are your best options rather than diving into quickly paying for Dark Web services.

Traditional Web Hacker Payment Options

Traditional web hackers that are performing illegal activities for themselves or on behalf of an organization will opt for privacy coins, or may still accept Bitcoin but will need to launder the money before ever touching it, which requires additional skills.

Many hackers that use ransomware have started to offer discounts if privacy coins like XMR are used for payment as it’s untraceable and immediately available to hackers for use.

Most legal hacking uses traditional payment methods, whether that’s credit cards or bank transfers, as there is no reason to hide the transactions and fiat currencies are hugely easier to use.

The other issue with cryptocurrencies is that you may be paid and then have a significant drop in the price of the crypto, as is often seen at least once per year. So you may end up getting much less for the work performed if you don’t time things well.

Traditional Web Hacker Payment Options

What Types Of Hackers Are Available?

Hackers these days can be broken into various different types of “hats” to indicate what they may be willing to do or offer, as well as their primary skill sets. Not all types of hackers will be found on the Darknet, as not all hackers sell their skills, or the prices required aren’t realistic for the customer base on the Dark Web.

While there is a big range of different types of hackers, the primary or more specific types that you may hear about or be interested in are listed below.

Types of Darknet Hackers

The types of Darknet hackers that you’ll find sell their skills for a specific price and for a specific service, rather than being employed by anybody or having long-term engagements with anybody.

One of the major advantages of the Dark Web is that there is a well-established encrypted and private communication channel with known marketplaces and communities for people to find hackers offering services, which is ideal for private citizens or small businesses that only want one specific hack performed.

Black Hat Hackers

Blackhat hackers is a broad term to indicate somebody has a high level of skill and is willing to perform illegal activities for their own financial gain.

There is a huge demand for Darknet hackers that can access websites to gain control, change information, or even steal specific information from them. For more complex hacks, a Black Hat hacker is who you’ll need, but you will be paying higher prices.

In many cases, though, Black Hat hackers are selling information on the Dark Web from their hacks rather than offering direct hacking services. It’s a safer option for them, and with this level of skill, it doesn’t always make sense to work for individuals that don’t want to pay very much.

You’ll also find these types of Hackers working for their own financial gain on the surface web or selling their services to corporations or criminal organizations.

Green Hat Hackers

Green Hat hackers are less skilled individuals that are actively trying to learn the hacking craft, they may be offering lower-level services so that they can test their skills in the wild.

However, the primary reason you may find Green Hat on the Dark Web is that they want to connect with other hackers within invite-only communities, and often they’re buying hacking tutorials or even equipment required for certain types of hacks.

Green Hat hackers typically have a goal to become Black Hat hackers to access systems in the future for their own financial gain.

Script Kiddies

Script kiddies are a type of Darknet hackers that are offering a huge number of services on the Dark Web, and they’re often selling information that they’ve managed to gain, such as credit card details and similar data.

Green Hat Hackers

This type of hacker does have some skill but is utilizing known exploits to systems and systematically searching for computer systems that are vulnerable for them to access and find information to sell.


Hacktivists are a type of Darknet hackers that typically aren’t looking for financial gain but are hoping to use their hacking skills to make changes in government policy or protest corporations.

In most cases, a Hacktivist is a Grey Hat hacker with a specific goal in mind, though you may be able to find Hacktivists in Dark Web hacking communities if you’re looking to protest or get changes made, and you can interest the Hacktivist in what you’re doing.

Consider them to be skilled online protestors, who could do as little as deface a website or get access to confidential information to show what a corporation or government entity is trying to keep private.

Crypto Hackers

You will find Crypto Hackers on the Dark Web but typically not offering services to you but are, in fact looking to steal your crypto.

They may attempt to digitally steal your crypto through various phishing or social engineering methods, or they may be looking to trace who you are to physically force you to provide your crypto information.

There are many reports of criminal organizations using Crypto Hackers to trace users back to a physical person and location to then force them to turn over their crypto accounts.

Botnet Hackers

Botnet hackers are a very common type of Darknet hackers that provides the services of their Botnet to disrupt competitors or perform huge automated tasks from many different locations.

As a small business, you may be looking to take down a competitor’s website through a DDOS attack during busy periods, or you may be looking to write negative reviews about your competition that requires a Botnet to appear authentic and not flagged as fake.

Social Engineering Hackers

Social Engineering hackers do work as Darknet hackers but don’t advertise their methods of hacking. They use verbal or written communication with authorized users on the system you’re trying to hack.

If you’re trying to hack a website or get information and the computer system is secured beyond your hacking skills, then a social engineering hacker skillset will be required, or money will need to be returned to the customer.

Types Of Traditional Hackers

Traditional hackers may be offering their services on the Dark Web, but not all types of hackers offer services for sale, or the costs are too high for most Dark Web users, so traditional methods to connect are still used.

Most smaller illegal hacking services have been moved onto the Dark Web as it provides more safety and anonymity to customers and sellers.

Types Of Traditional Hackers

White Hat Hackers

White Hat hackers may visit the Dark Web for information or equipment, but they are not offering illegal services, and the types of customers available on the Darknet do not match their ethical hacking standards or the prices they often charge.

Most White Hat hackers provide services to larger corporations or government entities to provide penetration testing or software vulnerability testing. None of which any users on the Dark Web have any real need for.

Grey Hat Hackers

Grey Hat hackers don’t work as Darknet hackers as they’re not explicitly looking to perform illegal activities on behalf of other people. Instead, they aim to learn and potentially sell their services to corporations through bug hunting or unauthorized penetration testing.

The grey area of their hacking is that they aren’t being contracted to perform work, so technically, they are acting illegally but without malicious intent or on behalf of somebody with malicious intent.

Blue Hat Hackers

Blue Hat hackers do have malicious intent towards specific businesses, organizations, or people and can be considered script kiddies or even Black Hat hackers. The primary difference is that Blue Hat’s driven by revenge or resentment and isn’t looking to sell its services.

Red Hat Hackers

Red Hat hackers are almost exclusively hired by government organizations or by very large corporations that have to deal with corporate espionage. The goal of a Red Hat is to stop Black Hat hackers and actively go after them.

You won’t find Red Hats offering their services on the Dark Web purely because that’s not the customer base that they are looking for.

State Hackers

State hackers work for countries or nation-states and won’t be offering services on the Dark Web. They’re highly skilled hackers that work to steal government information or disrupt other countries’ infrastructure.


Cryptojackers don’t provide services on the Dark Web as their goal is to create a Botnet that works on mining cryptocurrency for the hacker’s own financial gain. While they could utilize their Botnet for hacking services, it would take away from their crypto mining.

Are Hackers Reliable?

Unless you have a recommendation from somebody you trust or know of the Darknet hackers or group you’re dealing with, you’re just as likely to get what you paid for as you are for the hackers to take your cryptocurrency and disappear.

The anonymous and illegal nature of Darknet hacking makes financial transactions challenging to trace, as well as makes customers and buyers anonymous to each other.

If you research and use established marketplaces or known hacking communities to hire a hacker, you’re more likely to have a reliable experience and get what you paid for, and in some cases, if that’s not possible, your cryptocurrency may be returned to protect the hacker’s reputation.

Darknet Hackers

It’s crucial to understand that the Dark Web is an anonymous network and the hackers you’re hiring are more than happy to deal in illegal activities, so finding a known hacker or using an established service is your best chance to have a reliable experience.

Something else to consider is the hacking job that you’re looking to have performed, standard services with standard prices that aren’t overly complex are likely to have a reliable and positive outcome.

Complex hacks or services that are too much cheaper than competitors should have you thinking about whether you’re really getting what you’re about to pay for.

Are Surface Web Hackers Reliable?

Traditional hackers are often running an established business and providing legal services, they should be known to you, and your payment methods should be reversible so there is a higher degree of trust and a requirement to complete the service, or you can reverse the transaction.

Even if you’re getting fringe hacking services such as fake IDs, the payment method used will dictate how reliable your service will be. If you pay via credit card, then you can reverse the transaction, though it’s not recommended to buy from hackers with your credit card.

Surface web hackers that are providing illegal services are much more likely to be scams and unreliable. With the majority of illegal hacking services being moved to the Dark Web, what you get left with on the traditional web is scammers or even law enforcement, depending on what you’re requesting.

These days traditional hackers are working in the corporate or government world, so legal hacking is highly reliable, while illegal hacking on the surface web is most likely a scammer.

Are You Safe From Hackers?

For regular people, your biggest concern from Darknet hackers is being scammed out of money by not providing any services that you’ve purchased.

However, Darknet hackers are targeting websites and services that you utilize and that store your personal information and even banking details. So it’s important to limit how much personal information you provide to any websites you visit.

Businesses should be very concerned about hackers as they are constantly scanning for exploits to access your systems and steal your customer’s personal data.

Implementing automated penetration tests and having dedicated resources or managed to host for your website is critical to ensure that when exploits do come up that your systems are quickly patched.

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