Criminal groups promising salaries averaging $360,000 per year to accomplices
Researchers with Digital Shadows estimate that cyber extortionists are ready to pay yearly salaries averaging $360,000 per year to aspiring crooks that can assist them in extorting high-value targets such as business executives, lawyers and medical experts. Accomplices with special IT related skills such as coding, network administration and penetration testing, can earn around $768,000 in the first year and over $1 million per year from the second year of their criminal career.
The figures provide clear evidence that cyber extortion is big business right now. It often takes the form of sextortion scams, in which victims are told to pay a ransom to prevent the threat actor from releasing webcam footage they allegedly recorded of them visiting adult websites. Digital Shadows found that between July 2018 and February 2019, over 89,000 people were targeted with a total of around 792,000 extortion attempts, netting the criminals around $540 per victim.