Here’s news guaranteed to keep a CTO up at night: Chinese hackers successfully launched new exploits against some of the most widely used programs in the world.

And it took them 5 minutes or less to do it.

Fortunately, the successful hackers were part of the 15 teams competing in this year’s Tianfu Cup — China’s largest and most prestigious hacking competition. Using new, never before seen exploits, they were able to successfully hack the web browsers Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

They were also successful against Windows 10, Ubuntu, iOS 14 running on an iPhone 11 Pro, Docker (Community Edition), VMWare EXSi (hypervisor), QEMU (emulator & virtualizer), TP-Link and ASUS router firmware. And Adobe Reader.

Each team got three, 5 minute tries to successfully hack their target with an original exploit.

“Many mature and hard targets have been pwned (compromised) on this year’s contest,” organizers said last week, announcing the results of the competition. The winning team from Chinese tech giant Qihoo 360 earned $744,500, with the balance of the $1.21 million prize spread among 7 other teams.

The software providers were informed of the exploits. ZDNet says patches for all the bugs will be provided in the coming days and weeks, “as it usually happens after every TianfuCup and Pwn2Own (the west’s version).”

Pointing out that teams were able to hack so many widely used programs and applications, Tech Times commented, “The Chinese hacking competition shows powerful and new hacking systems that are never before seen by the technology security industry. The talented computer youngsters showcased how easily and rapidly they hacked into the world’s popular operating systems.”

Photo by Setyaki Irham on Unsplash


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Green Key

Interest Growing for Remote IT Jobs

The COVID business slowdown is having a profound impact on the hiring environment for IT professionals.

Employers are finding it easier to hire the kind of tech talent that just a year ago wouldn’t even open their emails.

Job board Indeed says that since the beginning of the COVID shutdown, interest in tech jobs – as measured by the number of clicks each received — is on the rise. At the same time, Indeed says job listings for such IT positions as data scientist and software development are down 30% to as much as 42% since 2019.

The lingering economic impact of the pandemic is giving many businesses second thoughts about hiring permanent workers. Except for their most immediate tech needs, employers in the hard hit travel, retail and hospitality sectors are hesitant about moving forward with planned projects.

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This is putting employers “back in the driver’s seat,” says Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel.

While the hiring dynamics have changed, it would be wrong to think of it as a buyer’s market for tech. The industry unemployment rate is 4.6%, well below the national 8.4%.

Many of those contributing to the increase in job clicks Indeed is recording are tech professionals who no longer feel bound to a geographic area. Google Trends shows a steady increase in searches for “remote IT jobs.”

As we pointed out last week large numbers of remote working tech professionals are thinking of moving out of the nation’s expensive tech centers. The obligatory COVID shutdown has shown them — and employers — they don’t need to commute to an office in order to do their work.

When Twitter and Facebook announced permanent work at home policies a few months ago, job searches for the two companies spiked.

Employers are also recognizing the benefits of remote work. In August, Pinterest paid $90 million to cancel the lease of office space citing the company’s shift to work from home. An ever increasing number of advertised IT jobs are either remote or optionally so.

This is creating opportunities for employers willing to hire remote workers. Geography will no longer be a barrier to hiring. And with the larger pool of IT professionals, employers will be able to more successfully compete for talent.

Says Tim Herbert, EVP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, the tech industry association, “We will continue to see employers evaluate their recruiting and hiring practices.”

Photo by Gevorg Avetisyan on Unsplash


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Green Key

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Boyd

Welcome to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the incredible people behind our powerhouse recruiting team.

This week, we are passing the mic to Jordan Boyd, Senior Recruiter at Green Key Information Technology (IT). After nearly half a decade of working in the industry, Boyd joined Green Key in late 2020. 

Boyd focuses primarily on niche skillsets, including AWS and Azure cloud engineers, database administrators and developers, .NET and Java developers, iOS and Android developers, UI/UX designers, and project management professionals. He has placed candidates in a range of industries, including biotechnology, aerospace, defense, financial services, and government services.

What inspired you to pursue a career in recruitment?

I applied for a sales job with a staffing agency several years ago. During the interview, the hiring manager believed I had the empathy and technical knowledge to work with clients and candidates. After trying my hand at full desk recruiting, I realized I enjoyed matching people with the right job a lot more.

What sets Green Key apart from other recruiting firms?

Green Key is process-driven. We work hard to ensure our candidates are the best fit for the job, providing full transparency about the hiring process and client expectations. We are about finding the right fit for the job—not throwing any and all resumes at a job to see what sticks.

"Green Key is process-driven. We work hard to ensure our candidates are the best fit for the job, providing full transparency about the hiring process and client expectations. We are about finding the right fit — not throwing any and all resumes at a job to see what sticks."  -Jordan Boyd
Recruiter, Green Key IT

Where has Green Key provided service that is hard to match in an internal hiring team?

Green Key works with a diverse range of clients, which means our candidates have several options when it comes to entering new industries. For example, Green Key IT has previously placed candidates in roles for the U.S. government.

What are the next steps for candidates interested in expanding their information technology job search?

Reach out to me or contact my team. Visit www.greenkeyllc.com/area/information-technology to fill out a candidate contact form.

Interested candidates can also browse current openings in IT by visiting the Green Key jobs board

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Green Key