Issue #5 · created by kylewaters ·

Why Top Companies Hire Hackers

PCMag reports that, in 2011, Facebook admitted 21-year-old George Hotz onto its development team. Why did this make the news? Prior to being hired as a Facebook employee Facebook, Hotz had been involved in a long litigation against Sony because he had hacks into Sony's Playstation 3 platform.

Hotz's situation isn't an unusual occurrence. The same article by PC Mag listed other black hackers who's illegal exploits led to them being employed by top firms. What is the reason why so many major companies look to hackers to help them create safer, better products? Hackers are highly educated. of Expertise

In a piece in the journal CSO Online, one expert said, "The rationale for hiring criminal hackers is based on the idea that, 'It is a thief's job to catch a thief'." Some formerly criminal hackers, like Kevin Mitnick, who served five years in prison for criminal hacking and has started their own cybersecurity consulting companies. The knowledge hackers acquire through their hacks may provide them with expertise that they cannot acquire via traditional routes of education. Black Hat Isn't the Only Hat

Black hat hackers are not the only ones to find work through their hacking capabilities. According to Eric Geier, writing for PCWorld, government and business companies are hiring honest hackers. These hackers are known as "white hat" hackers, to prevent data theft.

CBS News reported on the hacker recruiting phenomenon, and pointed out the story of a company called Bugcrowd which assists companies communicate with hackers. The hackers dig through the systems of big businesses including Pinterest as well as Western Union, and receive payments when they uncover flaws in the security of these companies' procedures. The CBS article also mentioned other major businesses, like Square and Google, that also enlist the assistance of professional hackers.

Even Apple whose products are known for their resistance to viruses, has hired hackers. The company hired the hackers who created the first virus to attack MacBooks in an article by Business Insider. Is it always necessary for companies to hire Hackers?

White hat and gray hackers could always have a place within organizations, but what happens to black hat hackers? A report from Tech Target stated that many companies are having a hard time finding skilled cybersecurity experts, in part because many job seekers do not have the required experience to do a good job in their work. Certain companies are filling vacant posts by sponsoring H-1B professionals from different countries.

It is apparent that the lack of cybersecurity experts could cause companies to continue hiring hackers, no matter what kind of hat they wear in the foreseeable future. In the near future, universities may offer the workers that businesses are so desperate to Hire a hacker. Here at Maryville University, our bachelor's courses in cybersecurity are focused on issues like general cybersecurity, offensive security and defensive cybersecurity.

Hackers may perhaps not represent the security powerhouse in the near future but do play a role in its current.

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