Cybersecurity Roundup: HackerOne, Symbol Security, Palo Alto Networks
White hat hackers are becoming millionaires and are helping to alleviating the ongoing cybersecurity talent shortage.
HackerOne announced six hackers have become the first in the world to earn more than $1 million each from hacking for good. They range from Santiago Lopez, a 19-year-old hacker from Argentina, to Mark Litchfield from the United Kingdom and Tommy DeVoss from the United States.
In total, hackers earned $21 million in the past year, an increase of $10 million over the prior year, according to HackerOne. Typically, hackers from the U.S., India and Russia dominate earnings, collectively pulling in 36% of the total value of awarded bounties globally. But the presence of Argentinian, Swedish, Australian and Hong Kong hackers in the top six earners demonstrates the global opportunities available, it said.
To find out more about the increasing prevalence of and financial opportunity from white hat hacking, we spoke with Luke Tucker, HackerOne‘s senior director of marketing.
Channel Futures: There are now six millionaire hackers. What does that say about the significance and growth of hacking?
Luke Tucker: What excited me even more beyond the six are the 50, 100, 1,000 and 400,000 on their tail. We’re excited about the overall long-term perspective. With our industry today, with the skills shortage that we see, this community of individuals is where the future is. We could potentially have 500 CISOs that are going to come out of our community in the next decade or so, and that’s presenting the financial opportunity beyond just the pay-for results, incentive-driven bounties, which is our bread and butter, and what we will continue to expand and preach, and empower both customers and hackers to come together.
CF: Sounds like hacking is going to be playing a big role in alleviating the ongoing cybersecurity talent shortage.
LT: Yes, absolutely. With the hackers on the one side and customers on the other, there’s a talent agency component to it; how we can match the current need from the customers that we know intimately and continue to expand a relationship with, with the opportunities that we see on the hacker side. We will work with both parties to help find a long-term position if that’s what makes sense.
So there’s more than just the bug bounty realm that is going to be presented to them, and that includes seven to 10 hackers that have made a name for themselves on our platform and found that they were looking for full-time employment, and they were able to receive that from a customer on HackerOne. We don’t shy away from that; we want to empower that as well. That is why we’re seeing millionaire hackers and why we’re going to see probably double that in the next six to 12 months. It will continue to escalate. Out of the six, there are another probably several dozen that are over a half-million.
CF: What does it take to become a millionaire hacker? Those six millionaires are very different individuals from different parts of the world.
LT: Every single one of them is from a different country, which is quite amazing … and they all come from very different backgrounds and different ages. You could put a capture-the-flag challenge in front of these six hackers and they would …