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Where Do Hackers Like Us Come From? The World of Ethical Hacking

By Adriel Araujo - Hackmetrix


Adriel Araujo By Adriel Araujo | CEO of Hackmetrix - Thu, 09/14/2023 - 11:00

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Being a hacker is often misunderstood by the masses. Some envision a shadowy figure bathed in the glow of multiple computer screens, while others see a revolutionary, a digital-age Robin Hood. The tales of Kevin Mitnick and Kevin Poulsen, the cult 

movie Hackers, and the mesmerizing TV series Mr. Robot shed light on this multifaceted universe.

The Early Game: A Puzzle to Solve

For many, hacking commenced as a game or an intricate puzzle to decipher. Like Elliot Alderson from Mr. Robot, who delved into the hidden layers of the digital realm and society's own facades, we were allured by the mystique of cyberspace. Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions were our practical fields, testing our mettle and intellect. Racing against time, logic, and sometimes societal norms, we answered our unique callings.


When you give a curious teenager a computer, it’s akin to opening Pandora's box. We ventured into cyberspace, often without any guidance, seeing it as a vast playground bursting with infinite possibilities. This audacious spirit urged us to learn, innovate, and sometimes challenge the existing rules.

Cultural touchstones like Hackers and Mr. Robot weren't mere entertainment; they were clarion calls. They painted cyberspace as an exhilarating frontier, abundant with wonders to unearth and systems to dissect. These narratives kindled a zealous pursuit of technology across generations, bringing our aspirations to life.

The Turn: Ethics, Redemption and Transformation  

Kevin Mitnick's trajectory is the stuff of legends. Once on the FBI's most-wanted list, he metamorphosed into a premier ethical hacker. Observing his escapades, subsequent capture, and redemption became a beacon for many, prompting us to re-conceive hacking.

However, the landscape isn't all white-hat heroics. Formidable criminal entities like the Lazarus Group and shadowy Russian syndicates, responsible for globally infamous cyberattacks, lurk in the digital corridors. Their tactical genius may resonate with pioneering hackers' audacity, but their aims diverge dramatically.

Kevin Poulsen's evolution from tapping phone lines to emerging as an esteemed cybersecurity journalist is a testament to hacking's versatility. Both his and Mitnick's sagas epitomize that hacking is neither a linear nor a monochromatic journey.

Now, the narrative has matured. Ethical hacking stands as a pillar of modern cybersecurity, whereas its nefarious counterpart veers into the realm of digital malevolence. But the essence remains — a relentless chase, albeit colored with purpose, moral integrity, and the potential for tangible societal impact.

Community, Competitions and Ethical Hackers  

Digitally, we discovered our kin. Flourishing communities where knowledge circulates freely, creativity flourishes, and camaraderie is palpable. The open-source revolution added fuel to this fire. It bestowed unparalleled access to resources and knowledge, enabling even a remote, curious teen to embark on the hacker's odyssey.

Elite competitions, such as DEFCON, became our modern gladiatorial arenas. Lesser-known yet equally rigorous challenges like EkoParty in Argentina and 8.8 in Chile diversified our battlegrounds, ensuring our skills never stagnated.

Now, ethical hacking is perceived as a vocation, a higher calling. The thrill persists but with nobler objectives. The corporate sphere has acknowledged our worth, and we vigilantly oversee our digital domains, a fraternity united by a singular ethos.

Game Over? Never.  

Mitnick and Poulsen's odysseys, iconic media portrayals, and the ascension of ethical hacking weave a captivating tapestry. It chronicles evolution, redemption, choices, and ceaseless growth.

Being a hacker transcends merely dismantling barriers; it's about discerning them, gaining wisdom from them, and occasionally choosing to safeguard them. We're the players, pathfinders, and guardians in this global digital village.

The game remains perpetually afoot, with millions actively participating in this dynamic ecosystem. We navigate through curiosity, challenge, unforeseen epiphanies, and the conscious decision to better our world. The exhilaration of the quest endures, with the horizon always beckoning. The game? It perpetually reinvents, ensuring we're forever on our toes.

Our Origins

At Hackmetrix, our roots are planted deep in the picturesque terrain of Mendoza, Argentina, before landing in Mexico. A region celebrated for its sun-kissed vineyards and exquisite wines may seem an unlikely birthplace for hackers. Yet, amid these tranquil landscapes, our journey began. It's a testament to the internet's power to erase boundaries and craft global communities from the most unexpected places. 

Alejandro, my co-founder, ignited his passion for hacking at the age of 13, motivated by the movie Hackers, with a mischievous intrusion into his father's computer, and his adventurous spirit didn't stop there; he soon found himself toying with the systems of Argentina's National Bank, a venture that led to some inevitable brushes with the law, before getting his first job as a security consultant for a US-based firm.

Francisco, another of our team's brilliant minds, ventured into the realm of hacking with a daring feat: infiltrating the digital defenses of some of the most prominent Argentinian companies at the age of 16 years old. Meanwhile, Kevin and Axel, both hailing from the vibrant backdrop of Mexico, began their hacking narratives on the right side of the law, showing that every hacker has their unique path. 

As a team, we've merged these diverse backgrounds and tales, weaving a tapestry that embodies the essence of Hackmetrix. Our story is a blend of audacity, skill, innovation, and ethics, which we're proud to share with the world, and now we are people with the mission of helping others stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Photo by:   Adriel Araujo

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