Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Coolhunting for Computer Risks – a COIN of sorts

In the past, hackers trying to discover potential security breaches and computer vulnerabilities did it for fame. Not anymore! A lively market has sprung up, where according to today’s New York Times, companies like iDefense Lab, a subsidiary of Verisign, pay $4000 to $8000 for each new discovery of a vulnerability. Russian hackers make enough money that way to pay for their tuition. In online forums and bulletin boards, COINs of hackers are discussing and exchanging ways of breaking into computer systems, and then selling their insights to the likes of iDefense Lab. They have converted from glory seekers to cash seekers. That’s not how COINs usually operate!

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