Hackers Helping Hackers aims to boost infosec’s diversity

Not-for-profit wants to give young people and people from under-represented backgrounds a leg-up in their infosec careers

Hackers Helping Hackers, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at boosting the diversity of the information security sector, has launched a seed funding campaign.

HHH was founded by Nathaniel Wakelam and Shubham Shah and builds on previous efforts by the duo to raise money to send young hackers to infosec conferences.

The organisation says it aims to connect aspiring security professionals from diverse backgrounds “with the mentors and knowledge they need to succeed”.

HHH said it will work with young people and people experiencing financial hardship as well as people from demographics that are underrepresented in the security sector including women, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, people of colour, and LGBTIQ people

In 2018 the organisation aims to recruit a small number of people that it will help get to CrikeyCon in Brisbane, BSides in Canberra and another conference (still to be determined).

Wakelam, who is also the organisation’s CEO, kicked off the funding round with a $10,000 donation.

Wakelam and Shah, who are 22 and 21, that they experienced first-hand the struggle for young people to break in to infosec.

“We have struggled to be taken seriously and have had to fight for every job we’ve ever had,” Shah said.

“Early on, we were unaware of many of the great opportunities that were out there to support us. We didn’t even know that information security conferences existed.”

“That’s where the idea for Hackers Helping Hackers came from,” Wakelam said.

“I wanted to create a way to support young hackers like me, and help them find a legal way to use their talents.” 

“Diversifying hacking matters,” the CEO said.

“Minorities, including young people, aren’t given the same opportunities as others in the industry – and they often bring tremendous value, skill and brilliance which would otherwise be lost.”

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