InSecurity Podcast: Nick Percoco on the Evolving Role of the Hacker

From Acid Burn to Trinity to Lisbeth Salander, the hacker has emerged in popular culture as the hero as often as the villain. As much as we’d like to believe that hackers have great hair and wear cool latex body suits, that isn’t always the case.

Hacking, hackers and hacker culture have had a massive influence on the world, whether it is in popular culture like Wargames or The Matrix, or criminal events that directly affect peoples’ lives like the Equifax or Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach.

An important statement from Hacker history declared, “This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch [...] We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. [...] Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity…”

In this episode of the InSecurity Podcast, host Matt Stephenson is joined by special guest Nick Percoco, Chief Security Officer at Uptake and founder of the THOTCON conference, who discusses the evolving role of the hacker in work, society, and culture.

About Nick Percoco

Nick Percoco has more than 20 years of information security experience. Prior to Uptake, Nicholas was the Vice President of Global Services at Rapid7, Director at KPMG & head of SpiderLabs at Trustwave and ran the security consulting practices at VeriSign, and Internet Security Systems. As a speaker, he has provided unique insight around security breaches, malware, mobile security and InfoSec trends to public (Black Hat, DEFCON, and OWASP) and private audiences (Including DHS, US-CERT, Interpol, United States Secret Service) throughout the world.

Percoco and his research has been featured by media including: The Washington Post, eWeek, PC World, CNET, Wired, Network World, Dark Reading, Fox News, USA Today, Forbes, Computerworld, CSO Magazine, CNN, The Times of London, NPR, Gizmodo, Fast Company, Financial Times & The Wall Street Journal. In 2011, SC Magazine named Percoco Security Researcher of the Year. In addition, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Illinois State University College of Applied Science & Technology Academy of Achievement. Percoco is also the creator of THOTCON (a hacking conference held in Chicago each year), and co-founder of The Cavalry movement.

About Matt Stephenson

Insecurity Podcast host Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the Security Technology team at Cylance, which puts him in front of crowds, cameras, and microphones all over the world.

Twenty years of work with the world’s largest security, storage, and recovery companies has introduced Stephenson to some of the most fascinating people in the industry. He wants to get those stories told so that others can learn from what has come before.