Twitter Teaming Up With HackerOne To Protect Systems (NYSE:TWTR)

Twitter has teamed up with security startup HackerOne to find and correct flaws in its systems that could be exploited by malicious hackers. The company has signed agreements with a number of prominent companies besides Twitter, including Yahoo, Square, banks, and oil companies. The company makes its money by taking a 20 percent commission on top of each bounty paid through its service.

HackerOne was founded after two Dutch hackers made a goal of trying to hack 100 top rated companies. Their efforts found security flaws in every company they targeted, including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter. The hackers then alerted the companies to the security vulnerabilities that were found. About a third of the companies contacted were intrigued enough to try to solve the security issues found in their systems.

The two hackers, Michiel Prins and Jobert Abma, then teamed up with two other co-founders, Dutch entrepreneur Merijn Terheggen and Alex Rice, Facebook’s former product security guru, to create HackerOne, The company focuses on bridging the divide between companies and hackers that are skilled at finding security flaws in company systems. The goal of the company is to get hackers to responsibly report cybersecurity issues at companies instead of trying to exploit them and to get companies to reward the hackers for disclosing the security issues that they find.

With more devices moving online every year, HackerOne has the potential to be a very lucrative investment. Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark, said, “Every company is going to do this. To not try this is brain-dead.” Benchmark has invested $9 million in HackerOne.

Many hackers have shown that they are more than happy to solve problems rather than cause them. Hackers who find holes in corporate systems can get a six-figure sum to sell their discovery to criminals or governments. Katie Moussouris, HackerOne’s chief policy officer, said, “We want to make it easy and rewarding for that next group of skilled hackers to have a viable career staying in defense.”

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with our FREE daily email newsletter.