Meet Matt Zamat, also known as mzamat, a hacker by night and a Bugcrowd Hacker Success Manager by day! If you’re on the platform or stay active on Twitter, chances are you’ve come across his name. It’s hard to believe that Matt embarked on his bug hunting journey less than a year ago, and yet he’s already making an impact on the community with his skills. But that’s not all—when he’s not busy hacking or hanging with his dog, Bella, he’s out there fighting real-life fires as a volunteer firefighter. Prepare to be wowed in this month’s Researcher Spotlight.

How did you get into the Cybersecurity space?

“I’ve always been interested in computers since I was a kid, and that interest followed me through my adult life, and eventually I found out that people can get paid for hacking companies!”

Follow your interests, no matter how much work it takes. 🙌

What and/or who first sparked your interest in hacking?

“I think most of the interest came from my knack of understanding how things work. This is usually best done by breaking them :)”

How long have you been hunting?

“Less than one year. Submitted my first valid bug (P4 woooo!) in July of 2022.”

Happy (almost) 1 year hacking anniversary! 🎉

Have bug bounties positively impacted your life?

“Absolutely. For example, a majority of the down payment on my house (the one I currently live in) came from Bug Bounty money. I feel blessed to be in the position I am now, and I do give 20% to charity :)”

We told you you’d be wowed.

Are you a part-time or full-time hacker?

“I am a part time hacker, as I am also currently employed at Bugcrowd. I spend ~20 hours a week hacking…usually in my down time towards the end of the day or on weekends.”

If you want to learn hacking while maintaining a full-time job, it might be necessary to allocate some of your down time towards dedicated learning and skill enhancement. It will be worth it! ✊

What has been your biggest challenge while hacking? How did you overcome it?

“The incorrect assumption that if a certain hacker(s) have tested a program, that there are no more bugs to find. This is so so so wrong! Always hack like you’re the first person to touch the app.”

This is solid advice. 💯

Do you have any favorite tools or resources?

“Favorite tools would definitely be FFUF or Shortname scanner. They compliment each other beautifully while hacking on hosts running Microsoft IIS.”

Do you have any advice for new hackers or people transitioning into bug bounty?

“My favorite hacker would be Z-winK. He has essentially been my mentor in the space, and we collaborate consistently.”

If you’re looking for a mentor, you can utilize Twitter to connect with individuals in the field and start conversations. The best part about this community is the mutual learning that takes place among its members.

Why do you hunt with Bugcrowd?

“The wide variety of programs to choose from, the professional staff/triagers, and the rewards/points system.”

Tell us what you do for a living or your career aspirations.

“Looking forward to potentially working as a program manager, or pen tester in this space.”

We can’t wait to see you grow in the cybersecurity field.

What made you want to work for Bugcrowd?

“Coming from a science background, I was looking for something that I found way more exciting and motivating. I was in need of a career change, and being a hacker on Bugcrowd opened my eyes to the possibilities/opportunities in this field.”

Our advice is to always go for what you want.

What do you think helped you land a spot working at Bugcrowd?

“1000000% my impression on the platform as a hacker.”

Tell us your favorite part about working at Bugcrowd so far!

“Even though I have met no one in person, I feel like I know everyone I work with on a personal level. I love the atmosphere, and the welcoming culture. It feels like family :)”

It’s true! One of the best parts of Bugcrowd is the ability to establish connections, both with the Crowd and our valued customers.

What does your life look like outside of hacking (family/hobbies)?

“I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT (x10 years) which takes up some times on the weekend, and I have a 1.5 year old Golden Retriever named Bella, who loves to go to the park.”

We appreciate you sharing your story, Matt! Now, it’s your turn. Go forth and write your own legendary story. The world awaits! Want to stay caught up with all things Bugcrowd? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and don’t forget to join us on Discord! Are you ready to join the hunt? Sign up for a researcher account today and start your hacking journey!