India’s Bug Bounty Hunters on the Rise: Simple and Strong in Cybersecurity Game

Growth of bug bounty hunters in India.

Today, you can still find bounty hunters, but they operate in the hidden parts of the Internet. These modern bounty hunters use their skills to find weaknesses in websites and apps and then inform the creators. In cybersecurity talk, these weaknesses are called “vulnerabilities,” and the people finding them are known as bug bounty hunters.

Most big IT companies have a program where ethical hackers, like these bounty hunters, actively test and investigate their systems to discover and report any flaws.
Nowadays, businesses have bug bounty programs. In these programs, ethical hackers get rewarded based on how serious the vulnerabilities they find are. It’s like a reward system for the good guys who help make sure companies’ systems are secure.

  1. Nikhil Rane /Age 24

A 24-year-old man named Nikhil Rane has made it into the India Book of Records. He didn’t do well in his IT bachelor’s program, but he followed his father’s advice and entered the cybersecurity field. In Mumbai, after receiving basic training, he learned about bug bounties. He’s now pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.

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Rane discovered a problem on the website of a corporation situated in the Netherlands in December 2021. This flaw allowed anyone to manipulate the OTP system and establish accounts without conducting the necessary checks. As his first bounty, it was. on thirty news sites carried the blog post the Bradford University lecturer made on him after it went viral.”

Rane received many bounties, however, not all bugs had cash payouts. You may occasionally receive “swag” in the form of T-shirts or medals as a thank you for your efforts.

  1. Onkar Borude / Age 21

Borude may seem like a simple young man with a Marathi accent, but when it comes to the keyboard, he’s a skilled warrior, standing strong among experts.

His journey began four years ago when an online friend introduced him to the concept of ethical hacking. This led him to discover bug bounty hunting and cybersecurity, and he quickly became interested in helping organizations enhance their security by identifying and reporting vulnerabilities.

Over the next year, he taught himself the skills for bug bounty hunting by watching lots of videos, attending webinars and seminars, and reading blogs.
Borude has reported more than 100 bugs to Indian government websites and currently has over 250 bugs under his belt. He’s earned over R60,000 in bounties and proudly mentions making appearances in multiple Hall of Fames and getting cool swag.

According to him, Indian employers often prioritize certificates over skills. They prefer candidates with cybersecurity certifications, even if they may lack practical skills. Borude also points out a lack of awareness about cybersecurity, realizing this after already enrolling in an engineering degree.

  1. 20-year-old Sourajeet Majumder

This year, Sourajeet Majumder, a Bengaluru resident originally from West Bengal, gained significant success. He discovered an issue with the West Bengal government’s Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), which enables users to make payments at kiosks connected to Aadhar. Majumder discovered that he could use an online program to access the biometric vaults of a website run by the state government. This was significant as there were more and more instances of money theft via AEPS manipulation. Money-stealing cybercriminals might take advantage of this. They reported the issue to the authorities, who promptly resolved it in two days, averting any further thefts.

He joined sites and social media groups for hackers so he could pick up tips from the community’s specialists. It turned out that 2021 was the year of his breakthrough.
In order to store your data on the corporate server and build a form, you must first register an account. Mahale discovered a bug while pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering at Indira Gandhi College in Ghansoli. Using a standard automated program and a little tweaking, it enabled him to access anyone’s data.

This tenacious youngster has sent 600 bug reports to major corporations, including McDonald’s and Google. Google honored him for two bugs, included him in their Hall of Fame, and included him in their Top Hunters list last year. But he claims that he is only now beginning.

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