Washington 'honours' Palestinian for hacking US Department of Defence
Amjad Nayef Mahmoud Qabha is a Palestinian student at the Al-Quds Open University’s branch in Jenin and is what is referred to as a “white hat”. He hacks systems and websites in his free time to find security vacuums that malignant hackers, otherwise known as “black hats” could potentially exploit.
Qabha has barely finished 80 hours of university in five years of college because he had to work as a construction worker to financially sustain himself, though continues to dedicate time to his passion for IT.
He has already found about 48 loopholes in websites such as Facebook, Google, Master Card, Dell International and Western Union.
Qabha says one of his motivations to continue with hacking is to protect Palestine and Palestinians from any potential cyberattacks.
In his hacking journey, he managed to get into the US Department of Defence and find a "Cross-Site Request Forger" (CSRF) defect that would allow cyber criminals to hack into the accounts of Pentagon agents.
He made them aware of this by reporting the bug to Hackerone website, which is an internet security platform.
With Qabha’s help, the US Ministry of Defence recognised and fixed the loophole, and then acknowledged his work by adding his name to an honour list that is dedicated to those who help protect US government institutions from hacks.