Hacker Stories

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 -

  1. Be patient but persistent.
  2. Mental health & Sleep is more important than anything in your life.
  3. Critical thinking is important, be aware of the content you are consuming online.
  4. Try to leverage your skills as much as you can.
  5. Learn automation.

Ending Note

Keep your heads down & keep working!

There are no shortcuts in life, learn more & contribute more.

Learn more about SOC 2 compliance here.

Andres Pena
Security engineer, developer and economist

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