One of the common question teachers often ask students is—“What do you want to become when you grow up?”
Students come up with various obvious answers like Doctor, Engineer, Policeman, Soldier, Pilot, Driver, Sportsman and so on. But Reuben Paul, a prodigy of Indian origin from the USA has gained insight about specializations in the cyber world doesn’t give an obvious answer; He aspires to become cyber security expert aka “hacker.” He was just in the First grade when he gave this answer in the form of a block diagram depicting how he can inject SQL-Injection to cloud with security holes and pwn (conquer) remotest terminals.
This is not an accidental answer from Reuben by any means. Owing to the fact that by the age of 11 he has proven himself in cyber security conferences that he can hack into smartphones and access Bluetooth services of well qualified cyber security services with ease.
The passion for cyber security to Reuben Paul is not an overnight development. According to his father Mano Paul, who is also CEO of Cyber Security Solutions Company by name SecuRisk Solutions—“Reuben as a five-year-old was comfortable using jargons of the cyber world like Firewall, Networks, Masquerade, etc. In his discussions, he could comprehend cyber world mechanisms.” Mr. Mano having sensed the keen interest his son possessed in the Cyber World started coaching him on cyber security concepts and introduced him to programming languages.
Today, 11-year boy Reuben is not a stereotypic hacker nor is he a nerd kind of guy who sticks on to computer 24/7. In the day time, he enjoys his childhood by learning Kung Fu, Gymnastics, Swimming and having fun with the age group peers. At night he transforms himself to a hacker. Currently, Reuben has his schooling at Texas Charter Schools.
First Project Venture- A Maths learning game
As depicted earlier, in 1st grade Reuben declared that ‘He will be a cyber security professional.’ While he was in 2nd grade, his teacher assigned the class to develop Games of their choice. The majority of students came up with cardboard made games, whereas Reuben developed a fully functional mobile App based game called ‘Shuriken Math’— a game to learn mathematics where correct answers will get Shuriken aka Stars from Ninja. His teachers were very much impressed by this App that they deployed it to Apple App Stores.
Second Project Venture – Creating Strong Passwords with a game
The outer world started recognizing the talent of this boy and Hord Tipton founder of ISC2, urged Reuben to develop a gaming App to educate children on cyber security issues. Thus came a game called Cracker-Proof that taught kids on creating strong passwords.
CEO of Prudent Games
At nine years of age, with the support of his parents, Reuben started a company by name Prudent Games and ventured into developing games for educating kids on cyber security nuances. He also opines that current day schools do not teach the essence of cyber security to kids and many of them due to cyberbullying are becoming victims of suicide. He has plans to create maximum awareness amongst younger generation in fun to learn manner through his curriculum based learning site cybershaolin.org
Invitations Galore for Keynote in Cybersecurity Conferences
Very soon Reuben Paul became a well-known name in the cyber security community and started getting invitations to various conferences of security issues. The first conference he applied for was DerbyCon, a well-known hacker conference. He received a positive response from Dave Kennedy, Founder of DerbyCon. As a debutant, he presented his idea with a title called “InfoSec From The Mouth Of Babes”— with which he demonstrated how to hack windows machine and gain access to Root shell. From then on he has attended various conferences like Hou.Sec.Con, Ground Zero InfoSec Summit in New Delhi, India and BSides, Austin. He has also participated in RSA-2015 one of the world’s largest Information Security Conferences where approximately 30,000 participants take part.
Two Amazing Hacks of Reuben
This article about Reuben will be incomplete if one of his recent Hacks isn’t mentioned:
First among them is recent Hack he demonstrated at Hague, Netherlands in a cyber security conference. He hacked into Bluetooth services available in mobile phones of the audience through his tiny Raspberry Pi Computer. He could access the phone numbers of the audience from which communication was established with his Toy-Teddy Bear. Further Teddy Bear was used to record a message from one of the audiences. The whole idea behind this hack-demonstration was to educate how innocuous toys can also be used as weapons of the cyber threat.
Kalam Fan Club admires this prodigy who has been nicknamed as ‘Cyber Ninja,’ not only for his talent but his matured behavior to not use the knowledge for crime and his eagerness to share cyber security knowledge with the children across the globe through his initiative-cybershaolin.org.