Mustafa Al-Bassam, the Iraqi-born hacker who was sentenced to 20 months in prison for computer misuse, has been given a job at payment processing firm Secure Trading, which is based in London’s Canary Wharf.
The reformed hacker — who reportedly hacked fox.com, FBI affiliate Infragard, and Sony — will act as a security advisor on Secure Trading’s technology and services, including a blockchain research project called “Trustery.”
Al-Bassam, once part of the LulzSec group and nicknamed “tFlow,” told Business Insider that he gets job offers “every now and again” from companies that want to carry out “penetration testing” on their systems but this offer was the most flexible one to date.
Al-Bassam currently is studying for a computer science degree at Kings College London so he will only work part time at Secure Trading. His undergraduate course ends this year and he said there’s a possibility he will join Secure Trading full-time when he graduates.
The financial services industry has been behind the curve when it comes to security practices, Al-Bassam said.
Commenting on his teenage hacking exploits, Al-Bassam said: “I don’t think I’m being hired purely because I was involved in that kind of thing.” He added: “I see it as an interesting experience. It wasn’t negative or positive.”
At Secure Trading, Al-Bassam will work alongside the senior management team including chairman and founder Kobus Paulsen, CTO Ian Hughes, and COO Gerald Kitchen.
The Trustery project that Al-Bassam will work on has been established in a bid to help commercialise blockchain technologies and improve the visibility and security of online payments. Blockchain is the underlying technology for digital currency bitcoin.
Paulsen said in a statement: “There are very few experts in blockchain technology, and we’re very lucky to have Mustafa on board. By developing this project we hope to use his skills and create technology to help make the world of ecommerce safer for thousands of customers.”