HackerOne is a San Francisco – based startup which employs around 100,000 legal hackers who test various companies’ software (for a fee) for chinks in security and help better their software’s security. The Company had announced yesterday (09/02/2016) that it had raised an investment of US $40 million from the VC firm, Dragoneer Investment Group. Many top technical companies in the US like Google, Microsoft, Apple etcetera pay millions of dollars per annum to legal hackers to strengthen their software’s security. It is much safer and cost – effective than a scenario where their accounts are hacked by illegal hackers and sensitive information is leaked. Read more on Investments
CEO of HackerOne, Marten Mickos, said that HackerOne is the biggest platform of its kind. Companies like Nintendo, Uber, Starbucks and GM, use HackerOne’s software platform to connect with HackerOne’s 100,000 – strong community of hackers.
“We’re a talent agency. Some years from now, we’ll have a million users”, Marten Mickos joked.
Hackers of HackerOne get paid between US $100 to US $30,000 per contract/client. The average pay given by a client (company) is US $10,000. At that scale of pay, hackers at HackerOne make a good life for themselves. The most experienced hacker at HackerOne is Mark Litchfield, who earned US $500,000 in one of his contracts, within the first two years of working for HackerOne. HackerOne isn’t yet profitable, but it has spent far less than anticipated in 2016 (only US $ 15 million) on all expenses. HackerOne is now raising funds, not because it desperately needs money, but because it wants to expand into an MNC and outsource its Internet hacking business (IPO). The startup plans to spend more to up skill its hackers in the coming months to make them security experts and of international standards.
“We have ambitious plans”, Mickos said.
It is good to know that a company has hired hackers legally. If more and more hackers make a good living out of legal hacking, they won’t have to indulge in illegal hacking and threaten companies for bounties in return for not leaking sensitive information to the public. The situation now in HackerOne is a win – win situation for both hackers and companies. Hackers get paid handsomely for addressing security flaws in companies’ softwares and the companies are becoming less vulnerable to threats from illegal hackers by strengthening their software’s security. The Government of India must take cue and encourage and promote more of startups like HackerOne in India. Read more on Startup News