Cyber-security ethics: the ex-hacker employment conundrum

Hiring of former Lulzsec hacker raises questions as to the role of former black hats in the IT security industry.

Secure Trading, a payments and cyber-security group, has announced that it has appointed Mustafa Al Bassam as a security advisor on the company’s technology and services, including a new blockchain research project. Al Bassam, however, is perhaps better known as Tflow, a former core member of the LulzSec hacker group. Secure Trading Chairman, Kobus Paulsen, says that by developing the Trustery blockchain project the group hopes “to use his skills and create technology to help make the world of ecommerce safer for thousands of customers.” As well as creating a commercial platform to bring the security benefits of blockchain technology to its customers, Secure Trading also says that Al Bassam will work closely with sister company Cognosec as a security adviser. Secure Trading non-executive director, and a former Home Secretary, Lord David Blunkett says that “if we are to protect ourselves, we have to be just as innovative as they are – we need to educate and arm ourselves against tomorrow’s threats.” Not everyone within the IT security industry agrees that hiring convicted former black hat hackers is the way forward though…

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