The Washington Post has recently reported on the exploits of Luigi Auriemma, 32, and Donato Ferrante, 28, two Italian hackers that work from the island of Malta, searching for flaws in computer codes that they can sell to countries that want to break into the computer systems of foreign adversaries.
The Post is relying upon information disclosed by The New York Times. While hacktivism is condemned, cyberpiracy is the favored choice of nations, especially the US.
Governments will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn about these vulnerabilities and exploit them. Hacktivism has been defeated by cyberpiracy.
Until a few years ago, the market for coding flaws was limited to companies like Microsoft and Apple, which just wanted to find them and fix them. But ten years ago, the Mozilla Foundation was already paying a bounty for the detection of bugs festering in its Firefox browser. Since then Google, Facebook and PayPal have begun offering compensation to hackers as an incentive to share what they’ve found. It’s essentially bribery in reverse.