Hacker Story - Subhajit Saha
How it all started
I had always been an average student, but where I really thrived was in computer science. To learn more about cybersecurity, I declined invites and stopped spending time with my friends. Cybersecurity became my world.
In 2013, I started experimenting with Facebook phishing, downloading RATs and viruses, and other "script kiddie" activities on my dad's Java phone. I would also save money from school to go to internet cafes and download videos and PDFs of blog posts, storing them on a memory card. I would go home to finish my homework and use my dad's phone to look at the downloaded files at night before I slept. Despite the struggles, my passion for learning about computers only grew.
Because we didn’t have a computer at home, I used to experiment with code at school, oftentimes staying late to create HTML pages. Eventually, after finishing school, I asked my parents for a laptop, rather than a bike like all of my friends at the time.
Hustle Mode On - 2017
My first bug was in Intel, Sony, or Avast - I don't remember exactly which one - but I earned my first $500 from bounties. This was like jackpot to me, because not only was I learning, but I was also hacking into real secure companies and getting paid out of it.
My first bug was in Intel, Sony, or Avast - I don't remember exactly which one - but when I earned my first $500 from bounties, it was like hitting the jackpot at the time. Not only was I hacking into real secure companies and getting paid for it, but I was also learning.
I started writing my first research paper in 3rd Semester about securing the TOR from entry & exit nodes. At the same time contributing in Google Developers Group & RedHat community.
By mid-semester, I received 2 internship offers: one at MNC and another at a fintech startup. While the opportunity at a bigger company such as MNC was enticing, I loved the idea of working in a fast-paced, early-stage startup, where I would be able to build and learn from my failures. So after my internship came to a close, I was delighted to receive a full-time offer from the startup, where I worked for some time.
Later, I joined Blockfi, a crypto fintech firm based in New York, where I worked for a bit before taking a break from the bug bounty journey. Like a digital nomad, I spent months solo traveling, learning about new things other than cybersecurity along the way.
Recently I joined Klar, a fintech startup based in Mexico, working full-time and spending my weekends learning automation, securing CI/CD, and bit of DevSecOp in order to continue growing and becoming a better cybersecurity professional.
Key takeaways from my experience -
- Be patient but persistent.
- Mental health & Sleep is more important than anything in your life.
- Critical thinking is important, be aware of the content you are consuming online.
- Try to leverage your skills as much as you can.
- Learn automation.
Keep your heads down & keep working!
There are no shortcuts in life, learn more & contribute more.
Learn more about SOC 2 compliance here.