The hacker community needs a new PR campaign. Far too many people equate hacker with criminal. But hacker is a mindset of how one approaches security. What is that approach and why are CISOs so attracted to hiring hackers?



Check out this post for the basis of our conversation on this week’s episode co-hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), the creator of CISO Series and Allan Alford (@AllanAlfordinTX). Our guest for this episode is Joseph Menn (@josephmenn), journalist, Reuters, and author of “Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World”.

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Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Trend Micro

On this episode of Defense in Depth, you’ll learn:

  • Hacking’s definitions are varied, but the one that speaks to all theories is that hacking is critical thinking.
  • Hackers don’t follow a manual. They look at systems with an open mind.
  • Hackers nurture the sense of the inner rebel. They want to truly understand the inner workings of a system.
  • Hackers aren’t creating havoc, they’re exposing problems that are already there. And they do it because it’s the only way to get attention to the problem.
  • Security professionals understand the value of finding existing problems, that’s why they instituted and support bug bounty programs that provide a financial incentive to hack.
  • Hackers are not afraid to be challenged.
  • If cybersecurity students jump straight from schooling to the corporate world, and they don’t have time to explore their desire to hack, they won’t have the opportunity to create their own moral code when it comes to hacking.
  • It’s important for a hacker to discover their moral compass, because there are going to be situations where a hacker will have the opportunity to do bad things without getting caught. How will they handle it?