According to a research carried out by Imperva,  the 18 most popular hacker forums are being visited by as many as 250,000 cyber criminals from across the globe. The report claims that this might be just a smaller piece of a complex jigsaw puzzle as hacker forums have been around for quite a while and now they are becoming a global phenomenon with their availability in different languages and coverage of wide range of hacking topics.

Imperva found that SQL injection and DDoS constituted the major chunk of discussion on these forums each with a 19 per cent share. In the report titled Hacker Intelligence Initiative [PDF], the company has revealed that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter were among the most-widely discussed topics and included threads which claimed to sell ‘likes’, ‘friends’ and ‘followers’. But, surprisingly such discussions were not main stream.

When further analysis was carried out, Imperva found that nearly 28 per cent of all threads were to do with ‘beginner hacking’. This, according to the author of the report, is significant as when someone posts a good tutorial, his / her reputation increases following which the hacker would be invited to forums which are selective of their members (invites only); and would be offered hacking jobs for which he / she will be paid. This is the method adopted by gangs to recruit new and potential cyber criminals members.

Imperva believes that if enough attention is paid to conversations in these forums, companies can better understand the talk of the town in hacker land. Amichai Shulman, Imperva CTO said, “By examining what information hackers seek out or share in these forums, we can better understand where they are focusing their efforts.”