Shehu Awwal is a student of Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto where he is currently in his final year at the Computer Science Department. Right From childhood this young geek has shown passion for computers and technology. We caught up with him in Kano and interviewed him about his recent victory and his journey so far in the IT world. Here are some excerpts from our discussion;
The Northerner: Can we meet you?
Shehu: My name is Shehu Awwal, i am from Kano State. I am currently in my final year at Usman Danfodio University Sokoto where i study Computer Science.
The Northerner: You recently won a hacking challenge, can you tell us about it?
Shehu: Yes, I was with a friend who showed me about the HackBoss Capture The Flag, and said I should apply for it since am into Cyber Security and Hacking, then I applied and took an online test. I later got qualified for the event and was invited to the Hack Boss Capture The Flag challenge where i emerged the 2nd and won N300,000
The Northerner: Cyber Security is still not popular in Nigeria, how do you feel being among the winners of the challenge?
Shehu: Alhamdulillah, I feel honored and excited to be the Second Winner. About 50 Participants were involved in the Capture The Flag, and everyone with different talents and skills participated.
The Northerner: Have you done anything in the past related to Cyber Security?
Shehu: Yes, I do participate in Bug Bounty Programs, I hunted and reported various vulnerabilities to different companies and some I can't even remember, Foreign Companies include Adobe, TrendMicro and so on. Nigeria Company website includes Konga, GTBank and others, I worked for Hotels.ng as their Cyber Security Experts last year and I also run a Security Blog hacknull.com
The Northerner: What are your plans for the future?
Shehu: My plan is to be among the Top Cyber Security Experts/Ethical Hackers from Nigeria representing my Country in the global world. I want to be a world class hacker competing with other Hackers from China, US, Russia and others. I also want to help secure and protect the Nigeria Cyber Space from Cyber Espionage, Protecting Nigerians users on the Internet.
The Northerner: How would you encourage other youths to pick up interest in cyber security?
Shehu: It is about the passion, You need to read a lot of Books on Hacking, Read a lot of Blogs, Read a lot of Research Papers by other Professionals in the Information Security Industry. It requires dedication and perseverance, Then you need to decide what field would you like to go into, Is it Wi-Fi/Network Security, Web Application Security, Reverse Engineering, Malware Analysis and others. When learning, learn the Offensive method so that you can know more about the defensive method. But don't use the Offensive method for malicious purpose because it might land you in Jail, Be Ethical and use your Skills for good.