Who am I, you ask. My name is Kieran, I'm 21 years young and I'm a hacker. Yes, I hack, and I hack with a passion few have ever hacked with. You see, when we talk hacking, we talk about what I've been doing day & night for the past 7 years, and I'm only 21, that's a third of my life already. When we talk hacking, we talk me. Enjoy my hacker manifesto.
It's 2011, I'm 14 years old and I got my first, second-hand computer, it's broken and I need to fix it. I open it up and there it is. Machinery so fine it's at least a thousand times stronger than the computers that got us to the moon, it confuses me how people could call it garbage. I start plouring through books and find what I need to do in order to get this thing fixed. I get it fixed and I recall the moment it booted up still very clearly. I truly understood that the machine that was buzzing in front of me, if used correctly, was capable of frying datacenters on the other side of the world, rob banks for millions, heck even billions, and I had this power right there, in my bedroom.
When I plugged the network cable into this thing I became a node on a network spread out around the globe. From that moment on I could talk to every other node on that network and that really sparked the hacker inside me.
I quickly started reading books about programming & operating systems and it didn't take long for me to dive into the world of hacking. At day I went to school, at night I would very often find myself hacking away at challenges I found online. A hacker I wanted to be and a hacker I was going to be.
Fast forward a couple hundred of those nights. I'm 17 now and I've matured a lot of my general IT skills & deep dived into the world of hacking. I scored a lot of bugs already and I've discovered the wonderful world of bug bounty hunting. I could now go nuts on real systems. I started out with small programs but quickly I was exploiting major ISPs and it didn’t take long for me to move on to the big guys. At that moment I set a goal for myself to find at least one vulnerability in my self-claimed “big four”: Apple, Microsoft, Google and finally Facebook. I succeeded in doing this at the end of 2016.
I’ve continued my journey as a hacker ever since. I’m currently 21 & employed at intigriti, a European bug bounty platform, where I’m responsible for triage & internal security operations. I also help out at Kinepolis, a world leading Cinema firm, where I’m responsible for monitoring & pentests.
I am continuously trying to still my hunger for more skills & knowlegde which is fed by a true passion that I have for the art that hacking really is. Hacking got me places no other skill would have gotten me and I feel like I have only seen the top of the iceberg. I will continue to hack on and if you feel like you can bring me that next challenge, don't hesitate to reach out and I promise I will not disapoint.