Modern field guide to security and privacy

Podcast: Life as a teenage hacker

Paul Vann, the 14-year-old chief executive officer of VannTechCyber, and his father, Raytheon's Paul Vann, join this episode of The Cybersecurity Podcast. 

Ann Hermes/Staff
Paul Vann, a speaker at cybersecurity conferences across the country, uses his lab in his bedroom in Virginia to work on hacking tools. He’s also trying o create an "in-visibility cloak" like the one in the "Harry Potter."

Paul Vann is a chief executive officer and security researcher. He's also 14 years old. 

That has its challenges. "It's harder to get taken seriously as a kid," he said on the latest episode of The Cybersecurity Podcast

The young leader of new cybersecurity company VannTechCyber, who was originally featured in Passcode's 15 under 15 rising stars of cybersecurity project, says other professionals often don't initially think his work is "as accurate or as credible" because he hasn't gone to college or even finished high school – and while that does intimidate him sometimes, he relies on the strength of his research to win them over.

"As long as I can prove that what I'm doing is credible, I can be taken seriously in most situations," he tells The Cybersecurity Podcast cohosts, New America's Peter W. Singer and Passcode's Sara Sorcher. 

On this episode, sponsored by HackerOne, Paul discusses what it's like to be a kid hacker, learn about ethics, and build a company at such a young age. His father, the technical director of international programs at Raytheon Foreground Security also named Paul Vann, chats about how to encourage kids' interest in cybersecurity and still make sure they're being safe online. 

Listen to this episode on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher 

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