Interview with Zuo Bruno – Africa’s Offensive Ethical Hacker and CEO of Zuoix

Zuo Bruno

Cyber security is a vital issue  every nation should consider. Nations, companies, and financial institutions, etc., may be subjected to cyber theft loosing a great deal of information to some unethical hackers. Companies should  be smart enough to protect their information systems from theft and unauthorized accesses.  Zuo Bruno, the founder and CEO of Zuoix is pleased to tell us the story of  a Hacker’s life.

Who Is Zuo Bruno?

I am the founder and CEO of Zuoix. I also happen to be an Offensive Ethical Hacker, Programmer, Web / Mobile developer. I am driven by creativity and innovation. I love challenges and things that make my head tick. If there is a problem I come to life. I Think I am problem-solving oriented.

Tell us about your Company

Zuoix is an Offensive Information Security Company based in Limbe, Cameroon. Although many companies offer information security services in Africa and Cameroon, Zuoix is the only one that takes the Offensive approach. This means rather than defending companies and businesses we start off by proving that they are not really secured and prove how that is so. So Zuoix is the company you call when you have defended your systems and want to check if it can still be hacked. We are also the people you call after you have been hacked or feel you are about to be hacked.

Zuoix is also involved in Mobile and web applications.  As examples, we have conceived and designed GCE Helper, a web application that helps students in Africa who are writing the GCE to make better grades by asking GCE based questions to teachers across Africa. We have also developed RAFRICA which is an android app that allows Africans to listen to and interact with their local radio stations no matter where they are on the planet.

Could we know about your story and how your passion for tech started?

I was born to a loving family and my mother was a typist. I was always around the typewriter and started to type at a young age. When I was in class six (primary school), I visited my dad’s office and saw a computer for the first time. I wanted to know why it worked, not how. When I was in form 3 (secondary school) my love for computers improved and by form 5 to High School I was made the Computer prefect.

At the University I read Geography and specialized in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It was then that I started teaching myself web development and programming. I later developed a strong love for Hacking when I was able to write a python script that gave me free internet. I always wanted to use my knowledge for good so I specialized as a White Hat Hacker (a hacker who uses his knowledge to help not harm).

What is your Major Achievement?

I think my major achievement has been the conception and implementation of GCE Helper (www.gcehelper.com) This web app has helped a lot of students make better grades at the GCE Examinations and this really brings me joy. Also, I would say another major achievement is to bring hackers from across Africa into a single body known as AISCON. Many people think AISCON is just the conference, but it’s a group of hackers who come together to discuss how they can protect the cyberspace of the continent.

What do you think of the Silicon Mountain Community of Buea?

I have deep respect for the guys in Buea. I love what they do and especially their vision. Although they do have problems, they are making the best use of their talents and environment. The community is one to copy as they have set aside personal progress to make sure they all grow together. This is something very commendable.

How was your experience at the SMCONF2016?

It was wonderful. It was the first time I met some role models face-to-face, such as Otto Akama, Churchill Nanje, Fritz and many more. It was also the first time I had 15 minutes to hack into a mobile device in front of a live audience. Till date, I still get contacted by those at the conference who were amazed at the android hacking that I performed. This shows me that people are not aware of such attacks and only goes to strengthen my resolve to educate and inform people about the risks of these attacks and how to protect themselves.

What can you say about extending P/L Meetups to the city of Limbe?

It is a privilege indeed to support this venture. When I talked with Otto Akama about doing Cyber Forensics as training, we both could see the need and the urgency for it. The tech community in Cameroon especially Silicon Mountain has already created a model of progress and this is based on shared knowledge. We are happy for the opportunity to train the next generation who will make us proud. We will be more than happy to continue in this light.

How do you intend to build a vibrant community of hackers in Limbe and shall you call it the Silicon Sea?

Building a community of hackers in Limbe will not be an easy task, but I believe it can be done. We are looking at building a community of developers and hackers in and around Limbe who approach app and web development with security in mind. We have already started this with AISCON and hope that we grow. I think we will call it SILICON SEA, or SILICON OCEAN, and I think we will bring something to the table. It might grow to be the place where apps cannot be hacked.

Do you have any upcoming projects? If yes, on what?

Yes, we do have two upcoming projects; the first is AISCON (www.ais-con.com) which happens to be the first Offensive Information Security Conference in Cameroon to take place on the 29th of October 2016 at FINI Hotel Bobende, Limbe.

We are also building a mobile application for both android and iOS called CrimeLine, it is an app that protects our loved ones by predicting Crimes before they happen.

Briefly tell us the importance of Cyber Security / Hacking and how it could help our local businesses and government agencies.

Cyber Security / Ethical Hacking is as important as having a police force. Looking at Cameroon and Africa in general, we have taken to the web so seriously that most businesses have gone online to catch up with clients. The problem is not all clients are online to do business; some are out to disrupt, defame or even steal. Cyber Security can help these businesses stay safe online.

Our governments too can benefit from Cyber Security, according to some researchers, a full blown cyber-attack can crumble an entire nation creating devastation worse than a military invasion. So we need ethical hackers who can predict and protect against such attacks.

What’s your advice to young aspiring engineers?

I would say to them, “You are living in a time and in a place that put you in the right location and condition to shine bright.” Africa is the cradle of mankind  (as history puts it) so you guys are at the heart of humanity. Just take a problem, think about it, seek a solution and code it. That is all you need to do. Believe in what you do and if it’s not against the will of the Almighty God and wishes of men, you will make it happen.

Above all, make connections, seek help, and help those who ask for it. Learn everything and anything, and enjoy what you do. Do not do things to make money, do them so your brothers, sisters, parents will save money.

What do you think of techpreneurship in Africa?

It’s a matter of time before Africa takes the lead in the tech industry. We have the zeal and the know-how. What we need is not really financial support, what we need is recognition and it’s already happening. We will only see a rise in the number of techpreneurs who will thrill us. It’s time we start laying a groundwork for the next generation to find their paths already paved.

 

 

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