27 Jun 2011

Facebook puts hacker on payroll

George Hotz, the 21-year-old hacker superstar, has been working for Facebook since May 9.

Hotz first achieved notoriety in 2007, when he hacked into Apple's iPhone. He followed this opening act by discovering and sharing a sign-in code that allowed users to play fraudulent games on Sony's PlayStation 3.

In response to the hack of its system, Sony sued the group Hotz had been working with, failOverflow, and won a restraining order against Hotz himself. In retaliation for this, the hacker group Anonymous targeted Sony.

But in the lingo of the computer security world, Hotz has now traded in his black hat for a white hat, and is using his skills in the legitimate employ of Facebook. The iPhone Download Blog was tipped off about the situation on June 25, and other news sources quickly picked up the story. Yet it seems Hotz's employment situation was not a closely-guarded secret, as it had already been acknowledged by Hotz on his Facebook page.

Another hacker group that recently targeted Sony, LulzSec, declared yesterday it is splitting up. In announcing this on its website, the group called on other hackers around the world to continue its mission to disrupt government and corporate websites. Apparently, George Hotz will not be heeding the call.