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Self-taught techie girl wins Rs 22 lakh from Microsoft to fix security issue – Times of India

June 29, 2021

New Delhi: A 20-year-old self-taught cybersecurity analyst named Aditi Singh has won a Microsoft Azure bug bounty of $30,000 (roughly over Rs 22 lakh). While she is waiting to receive the biggest bounty of her life, an elated Aditi shares that her parents have never been so proud of her and they finally feel she has “settled in her career”.
Singh found an RCE (or Remote Code Execution) bug in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform that comes with severe security impact. The details of the bug haven’t been revealed publicly yet.
Bug bounty hunting has been a trending career option for many aspiring techies across India. But Singh’s story is different and an inspiring one. Like many school going kids, she also got enrolled in one of the private institutes in Kota after her 10th standard to prepare for IITs and medicals. However, soon she found out that she may fall behind in the race to crack competitive exams in India.

“I joined Allen institute in Kota to prepare for medicals. I did not have any prior knowledge of computer science education and it has just been a year that I have started bug bounty hunting,” she said in an interaction with The Times of India– GadgetsNow.
After graduating from school, she enrolled for a BCA degree course at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and is also working as a cybersecurity analyst at MapMyIndia. “I learnt about Javascript, MySQL and other programming languages by searching on Google and watching videos on YouTube. I also was interested in bug bounties and learned how to report them as well. It took around a year of dedicated efforts to learn about technicalities,” she said.
Singh says she “hacked her way” to get the first job as a cybersecurity analyst after school. “While digging through several platforms, I found some vulnerabilities on MapMyIndia. I reached out to them and managed to get hired without even a graduation degree.”
She says that it’s quite foolish to believe that you need a computer science degree to learn about programming and cybersecurity. There’s a lot of learning resources available online for free. “You don’t need to be an IITian for bug bounty… It is quite easy if you are smart enough to search the internet. If anyone wants to get into ethical hacking then they should start with Javascript or Python and later get a certificate course in ethical hacking,” she said as a word of advice.

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