Security

Fiverr Involuntarily Offers Illegal Spyware Freelancing Services

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated August 27, 2019

Fiverr is one of the world’s largest online marketplace for freelance services based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The “gigs” that are listed there by freelancers include anything from web development services and content writing to music recording, logo design, and social media management. However, there has been a growing number of illegal spying services offered there, obviously without Fiverr consciously allowing it. For vast marketplaces like Fiverr, it’s practically very hard to review all gigs and evaluate their legal status. However, and since the recent reports from Motherboard surfaced, the platform has ramped up their effort on their side.

As reported by Motherboard, and based on multiple sources that they evoke, Fiverr has been ridden by gigs that involve the installation of spyware on a target phone number, the installation of GPS trackers on cars, and the hiring of unlicensed private investigators. Some freelancers promote their services as “undetectable spyware to monitor your cheating spouse or staff”, or “deploy a covert tracking device on any vehicle”. The simple versions of the spyware are offered for just $5, while more sophisticated malware that can steal user credentials and record keystrokes going up to $400.

As for the vehicle tracking, the freelancers promise to send reports of the geographic location of the target during the past week. The same listings are complemented by the provision of mobile surveillance, video, and photo evidence. As all of these violate the terms of service that are defined by Fiverr, the platform was quick to remove most of them when Motherboard asked for a comment. However, other gigs like the one below that aren’t blatantly promoted as spyware services remain available. How these gigs are going to be used by the buyer, and what exactly will be asked during the communication between the two remains a shady area.

spyware

Source: https://www.fiverr.com/

Of course, Fiverr assures that their advanced algorithms and automatic detection tools are constantly evolved and empowered to remove any gigs that violate the terms of use of the platform. Moreover, they employ a 24/7 “Trust and Safety Team” that responds to user reports, so if you see something inappropriate while browsing on Fiverr listings, you should take the ethical step to report it. Fiverr is by no means a foster of hackers and spyware actors, but crooks will always try to make a buck anywhere they can, freelancing platforms included.

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