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What’s It Like To Make Millions Of Dollars By Hacking At A Young Age?

Hackers often find themselves in the minds of people with capped figures in a room that capture every system they find. However, not all hackers are criminals, and most of the time companies give white-hat hackers rewards under the name bug bounty program to find their own vulnerabilities. In this article, we will talk about two young white-hackers.

Large companies send a certain prize to those who find system weaknesses within the scope of bug bounty programs. Apple recently proposed a $ 1 million reward to anyone who could break an iPhone using a special hack method.

Business Insider exchanged emails with two young hackers who made a career with bug bounty and became a millionaire. 19-year-old Santiago Lopez and 24-year-old Nathaniel Wakelam …

Santiago Lopez, the first bug bounty millionaire ever to live with his family.

Santiago Lopez, 19, lives with his family in Buenos Aires. In February, it was officially the first bug bounty millionaire to date, according to the bug award platform HackerOne. Lopez started hacking at the age of 15 and won his first prize ($ 50) at 16. He didn’t realize his career would come to this point until he made a deal with HackerOne.

Ardım I realized how much money I could make through ethical hacking. The platform led me to leading organizations that paid very good money for security holes, so I had the opportunity to make a lot of money and really make a career. I usually spend about six or seven hours a day, so it’s almost like a full-time job. When you find a bug, it’s the best feeling in the world..

For his money, Santiago bought two cars (a Peugeot RCZ and a Mini Cooper) and a beach house.

“I’ll always want to hack because I’m having fun, but at some point I want to go to college or college and start working. After that, I want to establish my own company on the security field. Hacking will always be a big part of my life. ”

Nathaniel “Naffy” Wakelam who started hacking as a student


Australian-born Nathaniel Wakelam is a 24-year-old chief information security officer in a security consultancy. Like Lopez, Wakelam started hacking when he was young, spending most of his time hacking a video game to give him an unfair advantage. I found in-game security vulnerabilities that made me invisible, duplicated in-game gold, and switched to restricted / unwanted map areas. Later, I learned that what I did was similar to the many things my security roles encompass. ” Although he doesn’t want to name the game, he says it’s a big MMO game.

At first, he started to make money as a student who was short of cash. I had a hard time paying rent during my first semester at the university. I worked five hours a week in a call center for five hours. After doing this for a month, I realized it was unsustainable. At the same time, Yahoo had recently created bug bounty programs. I quickly won $ 60,000 bug bounty prizes and decided to do it full time. ”

Nowadays, Wakelam is working intensively with Riot Games, the game studio behind the most popular game, League of Legends. Unlike Santiago, Wakelam’s program is diverse. Im I can spend at least 5 hours a week when I can’t find too many bugs, but at least 30 to 40 hours a week when I’m good, ”he said.

Wakelam also said that he could not imagine a future for himself without hacking. “After many years working in both the consultant and bug bounty field, I recently branched out to start a computer security consulting called Gravity. I am constantly interested in new challenges and experiences in this area. I can’t see myself doing anything else. “

What’s It Like To Make Millions Of Dollars By Hacking At A Young Age?
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