The Hackers of Siberia
Intellectuals banished to an inhospitable land created a pool of talent and creativity. Olga Smirnova goes in search of hacking talent in Siberia.
Intellectuals banished to an inhospitable land, settled in Siberia and created a pool of talent from the time of the tsars. Generations of creative people have been perfecting their skills here ever since. These days the reputation of Russian hackers has reached every corner of the world and Siberian hackers are the best.
‘SiBears,’ for example, are ethical hackers in the Siberian city of Tomsk. As they prepare for a hacking competition in Moscow, they reveal their motivations and the secrets of their success. What tasks are the hackers set? A whole city is built, with its own railway and hospitals, and the task is to hack into the city’s infrastructure. Alternatively, hackers can try their hand at hacking while drinking vodka with each attempt to break the code.
Are these hackers likely to work for the Russian state? Or is Silicon valley a place to aspire to? Olga finds out how these talented young people see their future.
Image: Students learn about computer security, Credit: BBC