Whether you run an online shoe shop or offer 100TB web hosting services, you’re likely to be worried about internet security in some way. Hacking has become a very modern problem but believes it or not, the same people who are giving many of us sleepless nights are building successful careers from their top tech knowledge.
Here’s how these technologically skilled individuals are excelling:
Performing security audits – specifically penetration testing
Companies want to know that their part of the internet is safe and cannot be accessed by unauthorised individuals – after all, they don’t want just anybody getting hold of confidential business plans or in-house information. Similarly, they don’t want a virus writer to completely destroy their online platform which is why many top firms hire talented hackers to perform a wide array of tasks including security audits and penetration testing. Experienced hackers know many simple ways to access sites unlawfully and can, therefore, look to strengthen security weak points.
While many hackers make a living offering security consultation services (from which they can earn a small fortune), others are headhunted by top firms to ensure no one gets past their firewalls. Jeff Moss, for instance – American hacker and founder of the Black Hat and DEF CON computer security conferences – was sworn into the Homeland Security Advisory Council of the Barack Obama administration in 2009 and 2011 became the chief security officer for ICANN.
Similarly, George Hotz, who not only unlocked the iPhone allowing it to be used by other wireless carriers but also breached security on the Sony PlayStation 3, was hired by Google in 2014 to work on their software security team called Project Zero. In 2015, he was also hired by artificial company Vicarious to develop AI algorithms.
Software and product development
Hackers love to investigate, explore and delve into the unknown. They also have an intricate knowledge of how technology systems work, so it’s perhaps no surprise that many also turn their attention to software and product development. Johnny Chung Lee, for example, who famously hacked a Nintendo Wiimote in 2008, was subsequently hired by Microsoft to help develop the Kinect. Similarly, Chris Putnam – who created an XSS-based worm on Facebook which made pages look just like MySpace profiles, later became involved in the development of Facebook’s video application.
Writing technical articles for security companies
Writing technical articles is not easy unless you have a thorough knowledge of how computers and other gadgets work. Often, hackers have spent hours writing and unravelling various programs and codes making them the ideal candidates to produce factually correct content. Hackers can also make money by contributing to tech-themed blogs on a regular basis for a set fee.
Hackers have a bad reputation but when they put their tech knowledge to good use they can make a decent living.
It is a guest post by Amanda.