Employ hackers with autism and asperger syndrome

Employ hackers with autism and asperger syndrome

Henry Dalziel | General Hacking Posts, Hacker Hotshots, Latest InfoSec News | January 29, 2013

Here is a very cool thing we came across. Winn Schwartau spoke at various Hacker Hotshot events and we saw him speaking at Hacker Halted in Miami 2012. Amongst his excellent (and very experienced) content was the premise that Human Resources are approaching information security hiring in the wrong way – basically they often view candidates in a rigid way, for example: “does he/she fit the bill by their appearance”

One of Winn’s points was that many hackers, by their nature, are compulsive people. There are more people with aspergers and autism amongst the hacking community than any other. Yet are people with autism and aspergers employable? You betcha! This blog post is to show what a German entrepreneur has set-up – a company called Auticon.

People with autism and aspergers have a truly gifted talent in being able to, amongst other things, detect patterns – something which is vital for software testing and/ or penetration testing.

It’s really excellent that people with these conditions and an interest in Information security and IT in general are being specifically invited for employment opportunities. Autocon is the first company (we think) that exclusively employs autistic people as software testers etc and offers their services on the open market.

An excellent example of a talented hacker with aspergers was Gary McKinnon. Gary was accused of hacking into United States military and NASA computers over a two year period between early 2001 to mid 2002. Apparently he deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the United States Army’s Military District of Washington network for 24 hours. What pissed off the authorities was that McKinnon posted a notice on the military’s website: “Your security is crap”. He is also accused of other things.

Anyways – after a lengthy battle with the US and UK authorities, the UK decided against extraditing him – primary reason? Because he suffers from Aspergers condition.

There is also another excellent presentation regarding hiring hackers with aspergers by Misha Glenny in a TED talk.

Are you autistic? Do you agree with the above? Let us know in the comments below.

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