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HackerOne is targeting Goldman Sachs, Uber, and the Pentagon—and getting paid for it

More than 600,000 hackers on the platform are helping find bugs and vulnerabilities.

HackerOne is targeting Goldman Sachs, Uber, and the Pentagon—and getting paid for it
[Source photo: andzhey/iStock]
THE WORLD’S 50 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
05 HackerOne

When Capital One discovered a data breach in July 2019 that exposed credit card and application data of more than 100 million people, the revelation came courtesy of a hacker—a benevolent one. He was working on behalf of HackerOne, a company that connects businesses and government agencies with a network of 600,000 hackers who test systems in exchange for payment and clout. While traditional cybersecurity efforts are centered around building hacker-proof software, CEO Mårten Mickos says vulnerabilities are inevitable: “It’s better to know than not to know.” Last year, the company (which has doled out more than $80 million in rewards to cybersleuths since 2012, about half of that in the past year) introduced HackerOne Clear, a program that vets hackers for sensitive projects and allows companies to require nondisclosure agreements for such work. New clients in 2019 include Alibaba, AT&T, Hyatt, and Priceline, and four out of the top 10 banks in the United States (including Goldman Sachs) are now running hacker-powered security programs on the platform.

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Source: HackerOne. *HackerOne publishes its Hacker-Powered Security Report each year, reflecting data from May through April

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A version of this article appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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