Our world meet the hackers

Dr David Day on BBC's 'Meet The Hackers' | Sheffield Hallam University

our world meet the hackers

The current class of college-age hackers will shape our future. that reads: “ Meet David Dworken, the Teenager Who Hacked the Pentagon. hacking as a public service, a way to help protect the world's digital infrastructure. Forensic computing expert, Dr David Day, on BBC's 'Meet The Hackers'. Monday 24 June News channel [22 June ] Our world: Meet The Hackers. Here's our list of the five most famous black-hat hackers in history - and what happened to them.

One runs the risk of patronising those who know anything at all about the topic, while still leaving the uninitiated bewildered. Overall, this was a cleverly laid out primer which relied on interviews with past and present members of the group. Hacktivism began at MITaccording to one commentator's account, where a tradition of nerdy pranks collided with the wild frontier of computing. The term itself sprang from a 90s collective called the Cult of the Dead Cow, which specialised in the sort of encryption technology that allowed hackers to bypass the controls put in place by repressive regimes.

Almost every enduring internet meme — hilarious, juvenile, revolting — began life here. This online community, knit together by in-jokes and arcane etiquette — "like the masons with a sense of humour" — grew into its collective identity through the simple notion of treating 4chan's "anonymous" almost everyone posted anonymously as one person, and acting accordingly to cause disruption.

Their trolling was not initially terribly high-minded. They all joined the children's site HabboHotel and dressed their little avatars identically so they could mass them into swastikas on the deck of the virtual pool. Their first good deed involved harassing a neo-Nazi called Hal Turner he picked on a 4Chan member.

our world meet the hackers

They also targeted the Church of Scientology, in some ways a cultural inversion of the loosely affiliated, open-sourced hacking community. Scientology fought back, and in February Anonymous took to the streets for the first time, in cities across the world. They discovered they represented a far wider demographic than lonely nerds in basements, although there were plenty of those too. Anonymous famously deployed its collective muscle in the cause of WikiLeaks and the Arab spring, but since then affiliated groups such as Lulzsec have strayed into actions that some Anonymous members find either merely malicious or ethically dubious, launching an era one commentator characterised as "the rise of the chaotic actor", where people are driven largely by retaliation.

our world meet the hackers

The most difficult kind of computer systems to hack Way back inVolkswagen offered a reward to hackers who were able to breach the operating systems of the company's Beetles.

Twelve years later, Netscape instituted the first "bugs bounty" program, offering rewards to users who reported issues in its Navigator 2. A small but dedicated group of Netscape users put hours into the task, despite the small chance of a reward. But it wasn't until that bug bounty programs were brought to the mainstream: Today, most of the largest companies with technological components, from Snapchat and Dropbox to Tinder and Starbucks, have "bug bounty" programs.

Meet the Hackers

They offer monetary rewards, often in the thousands of dollars, to anyone who can exploit security vulnerabilities and report them to the company. Across basements, offices, cubicles, arenas, Slack channels, and forums, hackers answer their call.

They come from a range of educations: But there's one trait that all ethical hackers have in common, and that's "endless curiosity," according to Marten Mickos, CEO of bug bounty platform HackerOne: They read, they study vulnerabilities, and then they report them.

our world meet the hackers

Most of them start when they're young. He's a high school senior who taught himself to program by watching YouTube lectures when he was 12 years old. In between homework, college applications, and high school math team competitions, Cable has exposed more than security vulnerabilities for around 50 companies, including Uber, Coinbase, and even the U.

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Cable has spent the duration of his career serving the public good, as have other hackers. Cable also knows people who began as criminal hackers who are now turning their lives around, working for good. Cable frequents a forum of around hackers who share tactics and collaborate on finding bugs, even though they're ultimately competing for the prizes.

our world meet the hackers

Intrigued, Melia poked around the internet and found a bounty program from Yahoo. He has found more than bugs for more than 50 companies, including Yahoo, Twitter, and Starbucks.

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That said, Melia insists that the money isn't everything. One hacker, "robd4k," recently earned enough to build himself a house.

our world meet the hackers

And according to HackerOne datathe top hackers based in India earn 16 times that of the average software engineer. While the hacking community is predominantly white and malethere's diversity in the methodology that hackers employ, and this multifaceted approach is what companies with bug bounties seek. Ethical hackers "will be much more creative in finding the bugs," Mickos said.

The outside world will always outperform the inside world. Not as long as the reward for being ethical is bigger.

BBC World News - Our World, Meet the Hackers

The process Melia discovered one of his recent bugs by accident. He was routinely scanning the Starbucks app, just like a normal user, and was in the process of ordering himself a coffee when he realized that by changing his order number on the checkout screen, he could modify other people's orders.

This would allow him to send coffees to other people's houses — or have their orders sent to his house, at no cost. Melia reported the bug for a reward of several thousand.

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They'll spend hours poring over apps and websites, often with little reward. On a typical day he opens an application, enters it like a "normal" user, and tries to manipulate everything he can to make the application do things it wasn't intended to do.

  • Forensic computing expert, Dr David Day, on BBC's 'Meet The Hackers'

Along the way, he learns as much about the company as possible: