Quick recap: at Black Hat 2019, ExtraHop and Security Weekly teamed up to run an interactive Red vs. Blue game for charity. The Red Team played for Hackers for Charity, while the Blue Team played for Code.org—and after going neck-and-neck on Twitter and the show floor, the Red Team took the day.
ExtraHop donated $10,000 to Hackers for Charity, as well as $2,000 to Code.org, and put away our #Red4Good and #Blue4Good hashtags to compete another day.
Cut to bright and early the next morning, when we received a cheerfully firm reminder that while Red vs. Blue scenarios are useful training exercises (or, you know, ways to make trade shows more fun), in the real world of infosec, only one team matters: the people doing the work, self-identified hackers and all.
Hackers for Charity founder Johnny Long let us know that while he and his organization were thrilled to be chosen as part of this event, and even more so by the donation, they do what they do because hackers have a lot of power to make the world a better place—in this case, by ensuring that other like-minded nonprofits can help people as well.
Thus, they'll be donating $4,000 of their winnings to Code.org in order to create an even split from this year's Red vs. Blue: Compete for a Cause game. Long sees a great deal of value in the educational programming offered by Code.org, noting that as members of this great community, it's our shared responsibility to help build up the next generation of coders and security professionals.
When the ExtraHop team read this email, well, I'll just say that emotions were felt and leave it at that. It's wonderful to be reminded of how tightly knit our community really is, how supportive and quick to lend a helping hand or contribute an idea that might solve a problem.
As Hackers for Charity point out on their website, a "hack" is just a creative solution to a complex problem. The infosec world is certainly full of complex problems, from the accessibility of educational resources that can help close the security skills gap, to the public perception of hackers and coding, to the rapidly accelerating attack surface and threat environment in which we live and work.
One set of donations and a few new connections won't solve every facet of any of those issues, but it's a step in the right direction and we're so pleased to have played our part. We look forward to great things from Hackers for Charity and Code.org, and we'll see you back at Black Hat next year!