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Coolest jobs in tech: hackers for hire
By Dan Goodin | Published a day ago
One spring day in 2010, a hacker named Kevin Finisterre knew he had hit the jackpot. A network he had been casing finally broadcast the live video and audio feed of a police cruiser belonging to a US-based municipal government. His jaw dropped as a computer in his home office in Columbus, Ohio showed the vehicle—with flashing blue lights on and siren blaring—charging down a road of the unnamed city.
A burly 31-year-old with glasses and pork-chop sideburns, Finisterre has spent more than a decade applying his combination of street smarts and technical skills to pierce digital fortresses. For instance, he once accessed the work account of an engineer for a large utility company. Finisterre used a pilfered profile from Hotjewishgirls.com to trick the engineer into thinking he was interacting with a flirtatious 26-year-old woman, until the engineer finally coughed up enough personal information to make an attack on his corporate account successful.
It's not a bad way to earn a living.
Thrill of the hunt
Finisterre is one of the "good guys." He works as a penetration tester who gets paid to hack into Fortune 1000 casinos, banks, and energy companies; exploits like these are all in a day's work.
"I really, really love it," he says of his job—currently senior research consultant at security firm Accuvant Labs. "I've been able to get exposed to a lot of things that I wouldn't get exposed to unless I was trying to get myself arrested. What other opportunity are you going to get to try to hack into a bank?"
It's a common sentiment.
Read the complete, FASCINATING, two page story at http://arstechnica.c...rs-for-hire.ars