Several 18-24 year olds have chosen hacking as their profession... and it is not a bad thing!

Yes, Hacking can earn you a lot of money which you can be proud of owning. Ethical hacking has been around for quite some time now. In this mode of hacking, instead of stealing someone’s data or performing any similar immoral act, one utilizes their sharp skills in the hacking department to help others (especially tech companies) in detecting bugs and vulnerabilities in their software and other online services.

Santiago Lopez, a 19-year-old based in Argentina, has earned more than $1 million in this profession so far and doesn’t intend on stopping any time soon. According to Lopez, it’s not just about the money but also the appreciation that his work gets from people around the world. Lopez believes that the work can definitely help software and other network-oriented companies in upping their security levels. Also, the door to several new opportunities can be opened with the help of Ethical hacking (or as in this case, the Bug Bounty Hunting).

Santiago Lopez one of the top hackers
Santiago Lopez, the number 1 security researcher on HackerOne.

Lopez was recruited by HackerOne in 2015. Until now, he has spotted nearly 1700 bugs which were all set to hit major sites and platforms such as Twitter, WordPress, Verizon etc.

The most interesting thing about this young bug bounty hunter is that he himself understood the potential of this profession and learned the major concepts of tracking down a number of well-paid vulnerabilities such as IDORS and CSRF security flaws.

How one teenager is making millions by hacking legally, Video courtesy of BBC.

Although he set out on this journey alone and was paid in hundreds and thousands initially, Santiago Lopez is now one of HackerOne’s top hackers (84th percentile for impact and 91st percentile for signal).

In addition to that, HackerOne also published a Hacker Report this year. Around 3667 bug bounty hunters were surveyed. The study showed that since the project kicked off, the hackers have collectively earned over $42 million, while last year’s earnings can be amounted to $19 million.

Other interesting parts of this study were that 81% of the surveyed hunters were self-taught and that 9 out of every 10 hackers were under the age of 35, and quite shockingly, 47% are aged between 18 and 24 years. India is the home to most (27%) of the hacker population. Burp Suite is the most used tool (32.7% prefer it.)

Bug Bounty Hunters favor websites for their bug tracking tasks. Domains are undoubtedly their favorite subject. However, APIs and Data Storage Technology can be included in the race too.

72.3% of bug bounty depended researchers say their primary targets are websites.

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