According to a recent New York Times article, Argentina is apparently a breeding ground for computer hackers. But how do we know that an Argentine hacker didn’t just hack the Times’ system to say that?
Well, let’s at least humor this hacker.
Years spent as a nerd or in a politically repressed environment supposedly pay off in the long run for computer hackers, who become ever so desirable to foreign governments and ambiguous multinational corporations. The world of international espionage and online thievery is apparently in high demand for coveted hackers – the same hackers that likely drink mate on the reg.
“Cheating is part of the Argentine mentality,” Cesar Cerrudo, a cyber security researcher from Argentina and respected hacker after breaching multiple US traffic light systems, told the Times.
Cesar described a lack of available technology while growing up in Argentina, leading many young adults like him to have to find creative ways to access computers. Today still, many are cut-off from leading technologies through import barriers.
Another possible root cause for the abundance of hackers in Argentina is the dictatorship that put many citizens under the harsh yoke of repression, according to Senator Norma Morandini.
According to the Times, Argentine hackers specialize in what’re called “zero-day flaws,” or “unpatched holes in widely used technology.” This particular style allows the hacker to spy on or even destroy computer networks, making for a highly useful hand for hire against adversaries.
This October, Latin America’s biggest hacking conference, otherwise known as EkoParty, pulled in a crowd of 1600 hackers at Buenos Aires’ Konex Center. The 11th annual conference allegedly drew in various Silicon Valley executives, government officials and contractors in search of the freshest talent in Argentina.
The idea starts to ring true with Argentines like Alfred Ortega, otherwise known as “cybergaucho.” The Patagonia native was allegedly able to hack a new electronic voting system in a mere 20 minutes.
Julian Rizzo was another shinning star of the Argentina hacking world after giving a presentation on zero-day flaw hacking – a skill allegedly worth six figures on the black market, according to the Times.
That’s it kids, drop your footballs and get indoors to learn the art of hacking.