Why your next cybersecurity expert should be from Argentina

By August 29, 2017

Due to a long history of military rule, Argentina seems to have a natural talent for breaking rules, pushing boundaries, and apparently hacking.

argentia cybersecurity

Cesar Cerrudo, CTO at IOActive Labs

Last year a man named Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher and CTO at IOActive labs hacked into traffic control sensors in the US, France, and Australia to demonstrate how vulnerable they were to attack.

“Cheating the system is part of the Argentine mentality,” Cerrudo told the New York Times. “Unless you are rich, you grow up without a computer or reading books. To access new software, you have to hack it, and you have to teach yourself everything from the ground up,” explains Cerrudo.

Another Argentinian hacker who also works for IOActive described to Motherboard how that he got into hacking through video games. “When video games went into CD format, they became very expensive,” he remembered. “So it was really common to buy cracked [or, pirated] games. Sometimes the games worked, other times I’d take them home and there would be a problem with the crack.”

Argentina is also home to Ekoparty, a Security Conference where hackers come together to present research, participate in hacking competitions, race to pick locks, and meet with major securities companies from around the world.

Argentina’s unique nature to produce excellent hackers is attributed to its long history of militant rule and political corruption. As a result, there is a desire to “stick it to the man”. According to The New York Times, these Argentinian hackers are particularly well known for their ability to find what are known as zero day flaws. These are unpatched holes which are widely used in technology and c can be used to spy on an adversary’s’ computer and in some case destroy it completely.

Argentina has a history of producing some of the youngest and most creative hackers. For example, in 2013, a 19 year old Argentinian boy was caught running a $600,000 a year illegal cyber fraud network.

Thanks to this countries troublesome history, it has produced a mind and skill set to create the perfect hacker. With a desire to solve problems, break rules and a general distrust for authority the country nurtures a perfect environment to produce the next dark web king.