Legal Ways to Make Money as a Hacker
Want to make legal money as a hacker? The world of hacking often carries a negative connotation, but not all hackers are out to exploit and wreak havoc. In fact, there are legal avenues through which hackers can earn a living while contributing positively to cybersecurity. In this article, we’ll explore four legal ways to make money as a hacker, showcasing the ethical side of this often misunderstood field.
1. Getting Employed By Company
A simple way a hacker can earn money legally is to work for a company mostly as a consultant to a company when it comes to issues relating to cybersecurity. A hacker can get employed to work for a company in any sector of the economy, provided their services are needed.
Hackers aren’t universally malevolent, contrary to common perception; there exists a field known as ethical hacking. These individuals, often termed White Hat Hackers, are essentially considered the “good guys” of hacking.
Ethical hackers are remunerated to safeguard diverse security systems or websites from potential cyber threats. Their responsibilities include assessing vulnerabilities within the systems of the company or agency that has enlisted their services and subsequently rectifying any identified weaknesses.
Individuals in this role serve as protectors for entities such as banks and security agencies, shielding them from potential intruders poised to exploit vulnerabilities. When one attains recognition as a competent and skilled hacker, companies are inclined to extend offers for collaboration, be it on a freelance basis or through long-term employment opportunities.
2. Working For The Government
Just as a hacker can work for a private company, he or she can also get on the government payroll to hack for the government. Governments around the world sometimes get hackers to track down other hackers or to accomplish other tasks.
These tasks are mostly classified under national security, and they may include extorting military data, or even industrial and economic espionage.
3. Bug Bounty
You may be asking yourselves what a bug bounty is. Well, your answer comes right out. Most young hackers make huge sums of money from this.
What they do is they prowl around massive sights, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Yahoo to find bugs that could be dangerous to the sites or allow in leakages from hackers.
Once a bug is detected, the hacker can inform the company and get paid for his or her services.
These are some popular companies and the bounties they offer. If a hacker happens to find a bug in their systems.
- BitGo: $100 to $1,000
- Dropbox: $216 to $4,913
- Facebook: $500 plus
- FastMail: $100 to $5,000
- Pinterest: $50 to $1,500
- Magento: $100 to $10,000
- Microsoft: $500 to $100,000
- Paypal: $100 to $10,000
- Spotify: $250 plus
- Stripe: $500 plus
- Tumblr: $200 to $1,000
- Western Union: $100 to $5,000
Searching for Bugs sure isn’t an easy job, but some companies give hackers handsome rewards that make it worth it.
4. Hacking Events
In the realm of legitimate income for hackers, a viable avenue emerges through participation in live hacking events, where individuals with hacking prowess converge to exploit vulnerabilities in specific devices or software. An illustrative example is the renowned Pwn2Own event, a fixture since 2007 and a highlight of the annual CanSecWest Security Conference.
At this event, participants are granted the opportunity to hack various devices, ranging from phones and MacBooks to automobiles. The rule is straightforward: successfully compromise the security of the targeted device, and it becomes the rightful possession of the adept hacker.
Furthermore, the event extends beyond the acquisition of physical devices; it features cash prizes for successfully hacking software categories like web browsers, enterprise applications, and servers. With a substantial prize pool, the outcomes of the event garner extensive coverage from the tech press.
Consequently, it serves as an excellent platform for burgeoning hackers to establish their reputation and connect with other individuals in the ethical hacking community.
In conclusion, the world of hacking isn’t solely synonymous with cybercrime. Ethical hacking presents numerous legal opportunities to make a living while contributing to digital security.
Whether it’s being employed by companies, working for the government, participating in bug bounty programs, or showcasing skills at hacking events, hackers have various avenues to explore and contribute positively to the cybersecurity landscape.
Yes, it is legal to make money as a hacker through various means, including working for a company as a cybersecurity consultant, working for the government, participating in bug bounty programs, and live hacking events.
A bug bounty program is a system where companies offer rewards to individuals who find and report security vulnerabilities in their software or systems.
Live hacking events like Pwn2Own are typically open to experienced hackers who have a proven track record in ethical hacking. However, some events may also have categories for beginners or newcomers to the field.
The amount of money you can make as an ethical hacker depends on your skills and experience, as well as the type of work you do. Some top ethical hackers can earn six-figure salaries, while others may make a few thousand dollars per bug bounty or live hacking event.
Many major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and PayPal, offer bug bounty programs. Other companies, such as Western Union and Dropbox, also offer bug bounties.