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Russian Cybercrime Forum Contests Bring Cash, Visibility to Winners

Competitions for users are a long-time tradition on underground cybercrime forums for members looking for money - and cred with major criminal syndicates.

Russian hackers looking to earn a bit of extra cash after the holidays can turn to the cash prizes of a contest on the cybercriminal forum XSS. 

The competition, which has been around in some form since the mid-2000s, nowadays asks contestants to prove their expertise and write an article on a technical solution, according to a new report from Digital Shadows. In addition to a share of $15,000 in prize money, participating hackers have a chance to get noticed by major Russian cybercriminal organizations.

Topics for articles in the current XSS competition include searching for zero-day vulnerabilities and developing exploits, APT attacks, and tricks for new forensics. This year's competition was sponsored and funded by the Sodinokibi (aka REvil) ransomware team.

XSS is not alone in running contests among its users. Russian forums including Verified, Korovka, and Omerta, among others, have sponsored competitions in the past.

For more, read here.

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Jeffrey Schwartz, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading