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Muhammed Kara has been working at SevenLab for a little over a year and he is completely at home there. He has developed into an expert in the field of software security. At the moment, he is taking a course that will help him develop further as an ethical hacker. You can read exactly what that means and the answer to many more questions about hacking in this article.
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How did you end up at SevenLab?
M: About 14 months ago, a recruiter called me. He told me that he had found a company where I could work as a developer. A good recruiter, because I really fit in here!
You are currently taking a course on security. What exactly does this course involve?
M: The course I am taking is called OSCP. That stands for Offensive Security Certified Professional. The purpose of the course is to learn to hack systems and networks in a very advanced way. For instance, I learn to take over applications, servers or computers from employees. I can also take over other servers. So you can penetrate very far into organisations. In the coming months, I will try to hack into various vulnerable machines. For the final exam, I have to hack five machines. The exam takes 24 hours and you can't pause it, so you can't sleep in between!
When will you take the exam?
M: I feel that I am not quite ready for the exam yet, so I have not scheduled it. I have until about January to do so. So until then, I will have to practise a lot.
Why would you want to hack into something or someone?
M: That intention varies from hacker to hacker. Often hackers are seen as criminals. They do exist, but that is only a subset of hackers. Those we call the "black hat" hackers. These hackers often intend to capture money or data for their own benefit. But there are also "ethical" hackers, to which I belong myself. People make mistakes. Even the best programmers. It is important that every user of an application can use it safely. And for that, you need "ethical" hackers. The more I learn, the more I am shocked by what is possible. That gives me even more motivation to fix these kinds of security flaws.
What kind of companies can benefit from an ethical hacker?
M: Suppose someone starts a new bank as a business. As a bank, you must of course be extremely careful with regard to software security and you want to have an application that is as secure as possible. You can't just go to any software company, because then there's a big chance that the system will not be tested by an ethical hacker. Every little mistake made by a developer or system administrator can cause a lot of damage. Of course, this does not only have to be the case for a bank app, but also for hospital institutions, the government, municipalities, but also smaller apps need security.
Most people think that all the software they use is perfectly safe, especially if they have an anti-virus scanner. But even everyday applications on your computer can have security problems that allow me to remotely access your computer and take it over without you noticing.
What do you like most about your work?
M: I am also Full-Stack Developer at SevenLab. When I build a beautiful application for which I write beautiful code, that gives me great satisfaction. I like the puzzling and the creative thinking that comes with hacking. It is very dynamic.
Coffee counter ☕️:
M: Too much. Sometimes I drink almost ten, but mostly only about seven. I do try to alternate it with a cup of tea more often, though.
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