Nowadays, Patrick Wardle is mostly known for finding vulnerabilities and bugs in MacOS. He’s one of the most renowned researchers when it comes to Apple’s operating system, and he also organizes a MacOS-specific security conference.
Many years ago, before he worked at the NSA, when Wardle was in high school, he was already a hacker. At the time, he had a TI-83 calculator, which was made to run custom made apps, his first programmable device. That’s when he thought: can I solve calculus equations with this and get some help during exams?
There was a problem though: before tests, the teacher would go around and check everyone’s calculators for non-permissible apps. Wardle, however, found a solution. He hid a backdoor in the calculator, an innocuous-looking app that would reveal the actual problem-solving app when Wardle would press a series of buttons.
And that was Wardle’s first hack. Listen to the whole story in the podcast below.
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