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Marc Maiffret: The Quick Rise of a Teen Hacker

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Security expert Marc Maiffret

"If you truly cared about improving the world's security you had to do things for the IT community. . . We did that by holding Microsoft's feet to the fire and holding them accountable for what they were doing wrong," says FireEye security expert Marc Mai

Credit: James Martin / CNet

For Marc Maiffret, the turning point in his life came when—at the age of 17—he woke up to an FBI agent pointing a gun at his head. A runaway and high school dropout, he had landed his first professional job but his past was still catching up to his present.

As chief hacking officer at eEye, the street-savvy, brash teen became a thorn in the side of software giant Microsoft, finding vulnerabilities in its products, including the hole that the Code Red worm used to wriggle its way onto thousands of servers in 2001.

Today, at 29, the boyish-looking Maiffret is still causing trouble—the good kind. He joined anti-malware firm FireEye in mid-December. In a recent interview, Maiffret talked about growing up fast and how he stays ahead of the threat.

From CNet
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