Aaron Portnoy has been tracking down software vulnerabilities since he was a teenager.
Once a Holden resident, Portnoy was enrolled at the Mass Academy of Math and Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was expelled six months before graduation.
“I was in the Mass Academy of Math and Science at WPI and I hacked the school’s computer system,” he recalled. “I then went to Northeastern for a year. While completing my co-op, I was offered a job and I took it.”
Portnoy said college degrees are not common in his field.
“It was a hobby back in the early 2000s, and now it’s really valuable,” he said. “Nowadays if you find a single flaw in the FireFox browser, you can sell that to someone for $100,000.”
The North Brookfield native is the co-founder of Exodus Intelligence, a company that focuses on finding bugs in software that create vulnerable environments for hackers.