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Former Anonymous Hacker Raises $2.5m for Startup

After being convicted of hacking-related crimes related to the Guy Fawkes Night campaign in 2012, Adam Bennett, a former Anonymous hacker, received a two-year suspended prison sentence and 200 hours of community service, according to the Australian Financial Review. Fast-forward to 2018, and Bennett has successfully raised $2.5 million dollars from investors for his cyber startup, Red Piranha.

“I’ve always been a privacy advocate and passionate about keeping Australian businesses secure,” Bennett said in an email interview. “I wanted to build a company that helped those struggling to afford the right cybersecurity controls or didn’t have the knowledge or resources to implement them.”

According to Bennett, small and midsized business (SMBs) are largely overlooked when it comes to the development of cybersecurity products, particularly with regard to affordability and ease of use. Red Piranha was founded with the goal of giving SMBs a slight advantage in fighting off cyber-criminals in mind.

“After the conviction, I was approached directly by a number of people asking for help. It was clear that the SMBs that I was speaking to needed something affordable. That’s what led me to found Red Piranha and develop Crystal Eye, our main cybersecurity product and the first Australian-made unified threat management (UTM) platform designed specifically for SMBs,” said Bennett.

The company was born out of the frustration that SMBs are left open to attack because they lack the money and resources to protect themselves. Since Bennett founded the company, it has grown from a startup of just two people to a company with over 55 employees in just a few years.

“Investors and all our new clients are eager to work with us. Given that we’re the only company in Australia doing what we do, we don’t expect to be slowing down anytime soon,” he said.

Working to cement its position in Australia's cybersecurity landscape, the company has also found ways to help increase Australia’s national intelligence ecosystem. To that end, the company is working in partnership with organizations set up by a federal government initiative, such as AustCyber, the growth center for Australia’s cybersecurity industry.

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