Well, here’s something I never imagined getting a press release about — but here we are. Today, InnoGames — developer of games like Tribal Wars, and Grepolis — announced that the company will be honoring white-hat hacker Ahmed “Batee5a” Sherif with his own avatar in the city builder Forge of Empires. The company, in conjunction with security platform HackerOne, has officially named Sherif “the most important Hacker” and is rewarding him with his own in-game NPC.
Sherif is one of a number of hackers known as Bug Bounty Hunters that companies like InnoGames rely on to help assure security in their games. Effectively, companies invite hackers to help identify problems and reward them for their discoveries. Most often these rewards are monetary and in InnoGames’ case, the company has already paid EUR 22,500 to 196 hackers.
In Sherif’s case, InnoGames has elected to award him in-game as well after identifying him as the “most valuable” hacker within the program.