“Hack the planet!” was the mantra from the 90s movie, Hackers, where a group of “misunderstood” youngsters banded together to fight corporate greed, lying and theft. Although quite the entertaining film, real hackers come in all shapes and sizes and are motivated by greed, disruption and/or boredom.
Five years ago, a cyber software company had a brilliant idea: what if we got the hackers to work for us? Well, wouldn’t that go against the fake hacker code? (See motivation one—greed.) Instead of putting the code jammers on the payroll, it was a set up like a lost wallet. Bring it to my attention, and I will give you more than what’s in the wallet.
It didn’t take long for other companies to see the value in paying for security breaches and identifying problem areas and bugs. Now, in 2014, hackers are welcome throughout the digital universe. Microsoft openly invites malware manipulators and the like to try and attack their operating system and online functionality. Find a bug, and the payouts start at $25,000.
“Google has now announced that it has increased the available rewards for reporting bugs to as much as $20,000 per bug,” reported Shane McGlaun for Forbes. And that’s just base pay. For a “well-crafted hacking technique,” you can be rewarded more than $100,000, Forbes reported.
The grey area is when the hacker is actually doing their “job.” Get caught before you submit your bug ID, and you could be accused of illegal hacking and could face jail time and fines. Happy hacking.