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Covid times have been rough, but it’s money-making time for these bunch of white hat hackers. According to HackerOne around nine hackers have made more than $1m each after it flagged their findings to affected organizations. Hackers have managed to earn $40 million last year for reporting software flaws via bug bounty reporting service.

HackerOne believes hacking is good, as ethical hackers gather to develop our defenses against various vulnerabilities. This helps in reducing cybercrime, protects privacy, and restores trust in our digital society.

The covid period has allowed these hackers more free time to focus on their skills. A survey conducted by HackerOne suggests 38% of the participants spent more time hacking since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

Amongst the individuals was a Romanian hacker, who started hacking only two years ago earned around $2 million. While a hacker from the UK earned $37000 last year.

HackerOne report also suggests 82% of the hackers work part-time while 35% have a full-time job. Most of these hackers are self-taught and have technical backgrounds. While 37% have studied computer science at postgraduate level and 20% hold post-graduate qualifications in computer science. They are based in different countries like the US, Argentina, China, India, Nigeria, and Egypt.

HackerOne is an organization based in California and charges a subscription fee to businesses for use of its platform. The white hat hackers are rewarded depending on the severity of the flaw. The bounty can range from $140 to a much bigger amount.

Katie Paxton-Fear, a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, a bug bounty hunger from Britain, looks for bugs in her free time. She said she has earned around Ā£12,000 in 12 months. She is proud to share her experience, where she said she was not using her time to win a prize. She does it to help secure the applications and face a challenge doing something good.

There are other bug bounty platforms apart from HackerOne, like YesWeHack from France and BugCrowd from California, USA.

There has been a considerable growth in the popularity of such programs in the last five years. Such platforms are ideal starting points for security researchers or students. These commercial bug bounty platforms offer a lot of protection and resources.