The Ministry of Cybersecurity is looking for its web vigilantes

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The Ministry of Cybersecurity in search of its web vigilantes

Éric Caire, Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital

To carry out its mission, the Quebec Ministry of Cybersecurity and Digital is looking for hundreds of employees, most of whom could be at the Hackfest de Québec, which runs until October 31 at the Center des congrès de Québec.

Around 30 positions for cybersecurity specialists are to be filled. Add to this that the ministry is trying to recruit nearly 1000 people in the field of information technology.

Hackfest expects to receive more than 1000 people , including experts and ethical hackers, over the weekend. It is essential that we participate in the event like this to have this expertise, which is completely essential, indicated the minister responsible, Éric Caire.

He adds that despite the labor shortage, his department is able to protect Quebecers. However, he would like to quickly find bug researchers and security vulnerabilities detectors, also known as ethical hackers. We must multiply visibility events to try to seek out this expertise. We are able to fully assume our missions. We have the expertise, we have the resources, we have the budgets, the equipment we need, but we are always more ambitious.

The collaboration between the Hackfest community and the Quebec government has evolved since August 2021.

Hackfest's ethical hacking community had ended its collaboration with the government, which it had begun several years earlier, after the government refused to grant immunity to a computer scientist who had alerted it to several times of the discovery of a flaw in the VaxiCode application. His discovery, which revealed that malicious hackers could create valid QR codes, had even led the Sûreté du Québec to open an investigation.

Louis, the hacker in question, refused to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Hackfest then demanded that a responsible disclosure process be instituted or it would not resume working with the government. These guarantees were obtained shortly after, confirmed the spokesperson for the event, Patrick Mathieu.

Patrick Mathieu, co-founder, Hackfest spokesperson and computer security expert

In May, the Government of Quebec announced that it will now pay hackers who find bugs in its computer systems.

This program allows ethical hackers to receive bounties ranging from $50 to $7,500 according to the seriousness of the flaws detected and according to the government site concerned. The hackers will have to state their identity beforehand to participate in the program and will not have access to the private information of Quebecers, assured the minister.

This pilot project is the result of a partnership with the French platform YesWeHack.

With the collaboration of Louis-Philippe Arseneault

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