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According to a study by Asteros, 45% of Russian hackers will not accept bribes

May 29, 2013 г.

The Asteros Group conducted a quick survey, the results of which showed what motivates professionals working in information security.

The poll was held on May 23-24 at Positive Hack Days III – an international forum on practical information security organized by Positive Technologies. As the event's IQ partner, Asteros sponsored Young School (a competition of young scientists), awarded prizes to the winners of hacking contests, and also conducted a survey among forum attendees who are working in information security or as independent professionals.

The main purpose of the study was to find out what motivates hackers and information security professionals. To increase interest in the survey, the field of information security was described using terms famous from the Star Wars saga. The side which defends information security was called “the light side of the force”. The opposite side of the fence, where hackers break into computer security systems in order to obtain certain benefits, was referred to as the “dark side of the force”.

In response to the question about what would make them stay on the “light side”, 44.6% of respondents said that their loyalty to the side of information security was due to moral reasons. 11.1% of respondents said that information security was a part of their profession so they use their knowledge only as part of their work. 4.7% of respondents said that their primary motivation is the law and the importance of doing work that is legal. A further 12.7% cited material compensation as their primary motivation. Over 22% of those polled gave other reasons for their loyalty to the defense of information security. Less than 5% expressed unconditional commitment to the “dark side of the force” and to being a hacker.

The majority of the attendees at Positive Hack Days who were surveyed believe that past experience as a hacker is useful for information security professionals. 42.8% of those polled said that a former hacker is the best type of security specialist. However, 28.6% of respondents think that the best information security professionals develop their skills in a professional setting, such as in information security companies. 9.5% of those surveyed consider experience as a hacker and professional experience in information security companies to be equally valuable. Less than 2% considered hackers who had never worked on the information security side to be the best security professionals. A further 17.1% said that diverse experience is valuable.

In addition to this, attendees at Positive Hack Days were asked to talk about their career plans. According to the survey, 39.7% of respondents see themselves as either heads of information security companies or as professors in the same field and are planning to transfer their knowledge to these positions after their professional life as hackers is over. 15.8% of them are going to start their own businesses. 22.3% described their own personal plans for the future. The full and unconditional return to their favorite hobby and working in a related professional field were also discussed. Nonetheless, 22.2% are hatching plans that they would prefer not to discuss publicly. Also mentioned were such ideas like building a “Death Star” and taking over the world of information security.

“Thanks to this event which was organized by Positive Technologies, our long-standing partner, we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the youthful atmosphere of the forum. I saw promising ideas, a sound approach, and an understanding of the modern world of information security in the work of the young scientists during the Young School competition. In terms of the survey, we tried not to create an overly serious image of young information security professionals. People who have never even worked in this business are showing a great interest in the opportunities for professional growth and see prospects in the field. It is also important to note that interesting projects, continuous learning, and the possibility of growing as part of a professional team were cited as some of the main incentives for working in information security companies. The field of information security has a bright future,” said Sergey Konoshenko, technical director of Asteros Information Security.

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