Would You Consider Being a Hacker If You Could Make a Huge Salary?

Would You Consider Being a Hacker If You Could Make a Huge Salary?

We tend to think of hackers negatively, but it’s an industry that stands to make a lot of money. This report states that some hackers are making an astonishing $500,000 a day. That money would be really hard to turn down – it’s in the life-altering range.

We wondered, though, if it’s worth it. Is it worth doing something considered so dastardly to make that kind of money? We posed this question to our writers, many of whom have the technical knowledge to actually be a hacker, “Would you consider being a hacker if you could make a huge salary?”

Our Opinion

For the most part, ethics came into play. None of our writers reported that they would do hacking for illegal or nefarious purposes. But many suggested they would be open to ethical or white hacking, yet it still wouldn’t be for the money.

Damien reports he does have the technical know-how, but he would only do ethical hacking rather than anything illegal. Additionally, it wouldn’t be the huge salary that drew him in; it would be more for personal satisfaction.


Mahesh agrees, saying he would definitely become a hacker for his own personal satisfaction but only if it’s ethical/white. He refuses to do anything illegal. Add Derrik into this mix. He’d be interested in doing white or ethical hacking “to find security vulnerabilities and help out.” But he’s not sure he’d be comfortable “ruining people’s lives even for the money.

Charnita reports that as it stands, ethical/white hacking is something she wants to get into anyway. However, they couldn’t pay her enough to do it for illegal purposes, as her upbringing and values and morals instilled in her wouldn’t allow it.

Jeffry has no passion for hacking and wouldn’t do it for any reason. However, he knows a hacker who does it purely for his own personal satisfaction and who has turned down several job offers because he didn’t want to do it for someone else.

I’m with Jeffry on this. I don’t have any interest in it so wouldn’t do it whether it was ethical or illegal and wouldn’t do it for money or personal satisfaction

Phil actually had an interesting way of putting this whole discussion into perspective. Going back to his earliest computing experiences forty-some-odd years ago, it was always about the challenge rather than the ethics or the money. He believes it depends on “how deeply focused you are on the challenge or the consequences.

Your Opinion

What about you, our faithful readers? What’s your opinion on this topic? Would you do illegal hacking or only ethical/white? Would it come down to personal satisfaction or a large payday? Would you consider being a hacker if you could make a huge salary? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. i’d love to have the “know how” to hack! but this is purely an ethical question…for $ 500,000…a day…i can’t imagine it would be anything less than government level jobs…likely hacking other governments or a group/groups of people like terrorists and such…plus take into consideration that governments are not known for keeping things secret from other governments to well….your name and home could very well be known to the world and your life could very easily be worth $1,000,000 or more for someone to end it! would i do it? i like to think that i wouldn’t but who can tell actually. lots of factors to consider on this!

  2. I would love to legally and ethically hack for a living. I enjoy it low end hacking I have done on my systems, however, I am not savvy enough to be able to hack professionally in my opinion. If there are any recommendation on how to learn and train I would be interested and appreciative. I have found some seemingly good training programs, however, I am unable to afford it. If new cyber security personnel are growing in demand then some help on offsetting the cost of training is needed especially at a time when the average person is hurting financially. If I was doing good financially I would not hesitate to purchase the training myself, but like many I am barely making enough to get by. So purchasing classes that start at about $2500 per class, ending with $10,000 to $20,000 invested is not an option. Also, I believe hacking should allow me to be able to work from my home instead of moving to technology hub in a large city. Might be wishful thinking, but I believe this would entice many to this field besides the fun of hacking.

  3. The pivotal point is — for me — about the money. Again, for me, it’s never about money. If I do something, it’s because I believe in it, or enjoy it, or want to contribute to the general good. If a bit of money comes out of that — like my profession, nursing — then that’s fine: I do have to live, albeit modestly. But I’m not in nursing for money, nor do I want to write software for money.
    I fully think that so much emphasis has been placed on this sacred cow that people have lost all sense of value. True value doesn’t have a dollar figure. So, someone can make $500,000 doing something: is that a true value of accomplishment? Does that person feel truly that they have achieved one-half million dollar worth of accomplishment?
    Where are our values systems? I consider what Linus Torvalds has given to the world of infinitely greater value, and he didn’t place a dollar figure on it, did he?

  4. If I were to be a hacker, it would be for personal satisfaction. Of course, if somebody was willing to remunerate me for my efforts, I would not refuse the money. While personal satisfaction strokes the go, it does not pay the bills.

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