Fanbooster’s CTO of Big Data, Fredrik Fjeld, was recently inducted into Google’s Hall of Fame, after discovering a security hole in the Google Cloud platform. He was also given the choice between a personal reward, or for Google to double it to USD 15.000,- and give it to a charity of his choosing. Fredrik chose the latter, and gave the money to Lær Kidsa Koding (LKK) whose goal is to get more kids to start coding.

Fredrik leads the programming of Fanbooster’s Big Data-platform, internally called Mom, which crunches large amounts of data for social media. Mom is a super-machine that makes close to 100 Million calls per week, and all the data that goes back and forth between Facebook and Fanbooster goes through Mom. You know how you can compare your own company Facebook Page in Fanbooster with those of your competitors? That’s thanks to Mom, who monitors 5000 Facebook Pages. -Just one of many jobs Mom does every minute, every hour, 24/7, 365. The system runs on Google Cloud Platform, and it was during this work that he discovered the security hole in Google App Engine.

Facsimile from DN.no. Photo: Øyvind Elvsborg

Facsimile from DN.no. Photo: Øyvind Elvsborg

The Google Hall of Fame is lead by security experts at Google Security. Fredrik’s discovery was filed in the category Logic flaw bugs leaking or bypassing significant security controls“. He adds that the Hall of Fame was created to inspire developers around the world to discover vulnerabilities, and report them in a proactive manner.

Google’s routines lead to the vulnerability being fixed quickly. Fredrik adds that data security is important today, but will be essential as we enter a future of increased digitalization, cloud, Internet of things, and big data.

For Fredrik, the donation is about the bigger picture, and he sees it as a contribution to “Norway after Oil”. The recent fluctuating oil prices show how vulnerable the Norwegian economy is, long before the oil wells have run dry. “We need to think long term about these challenges, and become best in class at new technology, so that we can grow less dependent on oil.”

“Norway needs to go from being consumers of technology to innovative producers of technology. This is not about pushing kids into studying math and programming, but to inspire, stimulate and present the opportunities for kids as early as possible. LKK has taken this inspiring role. It is a fantastic initiative”, concludes Fredrik.

“We’re thrilled to receive this donation that will help us in our work with teaching kids to become creators of technology. Security and privacy are increasingly becoming important components in this training, and it is therefore extra fitting that the donation comes after Fredrik made an important discovery within this field. We thank Google for the donation, and Fredrik for investing his reward in our children’s digital future”, said Torgeir Waterhouse and Simen Sommerfeldt in Lær Kidsa Koding.

Stories (in Norwegian) in Dagens Næringsliv:

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