Bugcrowd’s vision is to deliver a radical cybersecurity advantage. In addition to providing the best platform and tools to allow the top security researchers on the planet to find vulnerabilities on our customer’s applications, networks, and devices (IoT), we know that the key to our vision and making the Internet a safer place is EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION!
Bugcrowd is always looking for opportunities to educate developers and researchers, as well as the public about hacking and internet security. On June 8, we had the opportunity to host an event with the Wickr Foundation to teach kids ages 7 to 17 about hacking, lockpicking, and social engineering so that they could turn around and educate 50 members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) later that day about Internet security, hacking, and being a better/safer internet citizen.
Everyone (kids and adults alike) enjoyed an informative bus ride from SF to the Berkeley CyberSecurity Center on the UC Berkeley campus and learned about how easy it is to hack a WiFi enabled camera or your home’s router and how to protect your personal information by not naming your WiFi network or devices — anything that could identify you or your family because your smartphone is always broadcasting what networks it’s looking for…including your own home network! The lessons learned: name your network something generic and turn off WiFi on your mobile devices when you’re not using it!
At the CyberSecurity Center, everyone learned how to solder and build circuits, picked locks and handcuffs, and found out how easy it is to learn everything about someone’s (even a company’s) “secret” plans with some simple tools on the Internet. Building circuits helped build everyone’s confidence with technology (“I can do this!”). Lockpicking proved that nothing is perfectly secure (Click! “I did it!”). Knowledge of internet discovery tools cautioned kids and WEF members to be careful what they share or do online. (“Wow, they can see that?”)
On the bus ride back from Berkeley, the kids and WEF members learned about how the Bay Bridge lights were conceived and installed while continuing to chat and build lasting relationships.
From what I observed, it’s clear that we made progress that day in educating two very important parts of our society on the importance of ethical hacking and Internet security to empower them to protect themselves and their organizations. I would even venture to say that we could soon see some educated and inspired kids and WEF members on a Bugcrowd managed bug bounty program, finding security vulnerabilities and, yes, making the world a better place!