Shortage of security professionals and their high salaries have made outsourced security (use of ethical hackers) a necessity. Even leading organisations including the US department of defence, Goldman Sachs, Shopify, and Facebook have recognised hackers' enormous potential to do good. Hackers identify vulnerabilities in software, for which companies reward them - what are called bug bounty programmes.

According to a report by HackerOne, in 2019, hackers earned nearly $40 million in bounties, almost equal to the entire amount awarded in all prior years combined. Hackers in the US earned 19% of all bounties last year, followed by India (10%), Russia (8%), China (7%), and Germany (4%).


In percentage terms, a whopping 22 per cent hackers make entire living out of hacking alone. Here's a snapshot of how much money hackers make.