A bug bounty program is a deal offered by many websites and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those pertaining to exploits and vulnerabilities. These programs allow the developers to discover and resolve bugs before the general public is aware of them, preventing incidents of widespread abuse. Bug bounty programs have been implemented by Facebook, Yahoo!, Google etc.
In a country like India, where computer literacy is yet to show a buoyant curve, there are people who are combating hacker activities and assisting big names like Facebook and Google! Surprisingly, people from small towns are the ones who are venturing into this field, in a bid to assist big companies for safeguarding personal data of the users. Indian researchers top the list when it comes to finding and reporting bugs. They also top the list when it comes to receiving the most bounties paid from the company. Here are 11 best Indian hackers who earned money by reporting bugs.
1. Anand Prakash
Bengaluru-based hacker, Anand Prakash(Flipkart employee) found (and reported) a critical flaw in Facebook’s log-in system that could have been used by miscreants to hack into other user’s Facebook account easily. The flaw could give a hacker full access to a user’s “messages, his/her credit/debit cards stored under the payment section, personal photos etc.” Facebook acknowledged the issue and fixed it. Anand was rewarded $15,000 in reward for bringing the vulnerability to light. Now he has earned more 1 crore by testing Facebook and Google for bugs. He also renders his services to Dropbox, Twitter, eBay, Adobe etc.
“I do this work to protect data. If it were just for money I’d do it for companies with fewer users. I’m concerned about user privacy and I am a user myself. I care about keeping data safe,” says Anand.
2. Rahul Tyagi
Whitehat hacker named Rahul Tyagi, a 28 years young guy who hails from the small town of Gurdaspur, says many of his friends earn a living for themselves simply by hunting for bugs on Twitter and Facebook. Aside from being an expert on breaking and entering computers Rahul Tyagi is also an author and a talented actor. With over a hundred training sessions under his belt this guy is as versatile as it gets.
He says, “At the age of 17 my father brought the first PC to my home for his accounting work. I remember spending hours on my father’s computer, getting in trouble for messing things up. It occurred to me that the only way you really learn something is by breaking it, then fixing it.” He was selected as Vice-President of Cyber Security and Anti-Hacking Org India.
3. Trishneet Arora
Trishneet Arora, a 20years old ethical hacker from Ludhiana has created a successful cyber security business, while he isn’t even a high school graduate. Trishneet explains that the software used across hospitals are vulnerable to intrusive activity and that hackers like him are devising new ways to keep the patients safe.
” In the ICU the technology was using was a cloud-based machine,” he said, adding, “I hacked it, I found a vulnerability and I shut it down. The person on the operating table could have been killed, and you’d never be able to trace the killer”,said Arora.
4. Pranav Mistry
This hacker extraordinaire is also famous for the invention of SixthSense-a technology that’s used by NASA and also the invisible computer mouse. His research interests include Wearable Computing, Augmented reality, Ubiquitous computing, Gestural interaction, AI,Machine vision, Collective intelligence and Robotics. World Economic Forum honored Mistry as one of the Young Global Leader2013.