Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne, said that every computer system in the world is vulnerable to hackers and criminals and one solution to it is to actually rely on the hackers—white hat hackers, that is, or “ethnical hackers” as some would call.
“There are far more ethical hackers, white hat hackers, in the world than criminals,” Mickos told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Thursday. “So when you just invite the good guys to help you, you will always be safe. It’s like a neighborhood watch. You’re asking the good guys around you to help you see what’s wrong with your system and help you fix it.”
The term “white hat” in Internet slang refers to an ethical computer hacker, or a computer security expert, who specializes in penetration testing and in other testing methodologies to ensure the security of an organization’s information systems.
Mickos said that he has assembled 70,000 white hat hackers in his venture-backed company HackerOne. He explains the intent of white hat hackers is to hack for good and not for exploitation.
“This is something society desperately needs,” he said. “We gather the best hackers in the world and we invite them to hack you and report the vulnerabilities back to the companies, or the federal agencies who need to know where their vulnerabilities are.”
According to Mickos, the government has also expressed optimism about white hat hackers. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the Department of Defense, held a challenge in August for hackers to create a code that could search for vulnerabilities, find and patch them on its own, otherwise, artificial intelligence.