Ahsan Tahir 13-Year-Old Pakistani Ethical Hacker Has Found Bugs at Some Top Tech Companies
Ahsan Tahir, 13-year-old is a Pakistani hacker, from Karachi, Pakistan, who is working as a cyber security consultant big tech companies such as Google and Microsoft.Putting his skills to work through bug bounty programs, helping companies to find and fix vulnerabilities in their websites in exchange for cash and swag.
Ahsan Tahir told NBC News in an interview He started learning hacking when his personal website was hacked, Tahir told NBC News.
“I decided to find bugs on my own website,” he said. Tahir then said he found a site “that told me I can hack into different companies to find bugs and they will pay me — or appreciate me — so I started [doing] that.”
He picked up skill watching videos from YouTube videos, reading blogs, and experimenting on his own
Bug bounty programs are already seeping into the mainstream, with everyone from Apple to the Pentagon offering cash for bugs. And a successful hacker can collect anything from $50 to $350,000, depending on how big the company is and how critical the bug is.
Casey Ellis, founder, and CEO of Bugcrowd told NBC News.
“Hackers like Ahsan are literally the next generation of cybersecurity defenders, and the future of the internet relies on them having an easy on-ramp into security as a career,” “Digital natives make very good hackers, and the power this group represents to companies trying to safeguard their businesses and users is immense.”
Tahir’s parents aren’t techies, but his father, who accompanied him on his trip to the United States, told NBC News he’s proud of his self-taught son. A typical day for the teen involves going to school and then coming home and hacking for six hours. Then, he says he’ll do homework — if he has any.
While money is a motivator, Tahir said he also wants to make the internet a safer place and teach other people the skills that have made him a success, largely through YouTube tutorials.
“The more hackers there are, the more bugs [are found], and the more secure companies are. It’s simple,” he said.
When he’s an adult, Tahir said he hopes to continue participating in bug bounties part time, while spending his days working as a software engineer, possibly even starting his own company.But that’s all a long way away. For now, he’s most thrilled about turning 14 in July, when he’ll get a $500 payday from Microsoft for some bugs he found.
He’s had to be patient, since Microsoft’s minimum participation age in their bug bounty program is 14 years old — but come July, he knows he is guaranteed two things: a party and a payday.
“I am proud of making the internet safer, the world safer,” Tahir said. “Because the next wars maybe will be cyber wars.”
Source Article NBC News