The second half of December is a joyful and festive time in the snowy, post-Soviet arena, culminating in the magical New Year’s Eve. Most people take vacation, and an atmosphere of playfulness and celebration can be felt in the air. The Russian-speaking hacker and malware development community is no exception, and each year the forums that serve as their main platforms are colorfully decorated for the holiday, while members post Season’s Greetings to each other.
This year, we witnessed a creative new idea by this community to celebrate the most important holiday in former Communist countries – a self-sponsored, cross-platform contest. Specifically, a quiz on hacking operations, scheduled to take place simultaneously on the last day of the year on several different forums.
The idea is the brainchild of one of the administrators of a leading underground forum, who started to raise money that will serve as prizes for the winners of the contest. A dedicated Bitcoin wallet has been opened for donations. Furthermore, service providers have offered free use of their products for the lucky winners.
The concept was met with enthusiasm by forum members, who proposed question topics and formats. A survey was launched on one forum, asking members to vote for the topic they would like to see in the quiz. The suggested topics involve the following areas of cybercrime: coding, spam, crypt, traffic, brute forcing, reverse engineering and administration.
Several members have donated money, saying that such activity helps to develop the community and serves as motivation for achieving knowledge. Moreover, the administrators of numerous underground forums have expressed their support for the contest, indicating the expected high level of the quiz.
We look forward to discovering the names of the winners of the contest on December 31 and seeing what kind of questions are going to be asked. Meanwhile, we wish you all Happy Holidays and Happy Novy God!