How Does Surveillance-For-Hire operate?



It is no doubt that the existence of services offered by Surveillance-For-Hire has raised uproar from the society as many believes that they are orchestrators of virtual crimes.


However, there is a counter argument that the services focuses on Terrorists and criminals alone.

Nevertheless, either it’s aim is positive or negative on individuals in our society, it does not put a stop to one trying to defend one’self of cybercrime.

To build a wall of defence, you must definitely know what you are fighting against, which is why this article discusses the operation of Surveillance-For-Hire.


What Is Surveillance-For-Hire?

The global surveillance-for-hire sector collects intelligence from people all across the internet, manipulates them into exposing information, and compromises their devices and accounts.

These businesses are part of a vast sector that sells invasive software tools and spying services to everyone, irrespective of who they aim or the human rights violations they enable.

This industry “democratizes” these dangers by making them accessible to governmental and non-government organizations that would not otherwise have access to them.

However, there are three phases of commercial players’ targeted activities that make up their “surveillance chain.”

These; Reconnaissance, Engagement, and Exploitation.



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Each phase feeds into the next. Though some of these organizations focus on a single stage of monitoring, others assist with the full attack chain.



This phase is generally the least apparent to the victims, who are secretly analyzed by cybercriminals on behalf of their employers, often utilizing software to collect data from across the internet.


These services collect data from blogs, social media, organizational learning sites like Wikipedia and Wikidata, news media, forums, and “dark web” sites, among other sources.



This is the second phase and is usually the most obvious to the target audience and is crucial to identify to avoid compromise. Its goal is to make connections with the targets or others who are close to them to gain trust, gather information, and fool them into opening dangerous links or files.



The final stage is the exploitation stage and is frequently referred to as “hacking for hire.”

Providers may set up phishing domains to fool people into giving over their passwords for sensitive accounts such as email, social media, banking services, and business networks, or into clicking on suspicious links to infect people’s devices.

Although the public debate has been centered on the exploitation stage, it is vital to disrupt the attack’s whole lifecycle because the earlier phases support the later stages.

If we can all work together to address this issue early in the surveillance chain, we can assist prevent harm before it reaches the most serious step of compromising people’s devices and accounts.

The Threat Report has more information on various stages of surveillance attacks.




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