Introducing the white hat hackers of Brazil

With the goal of recruiting at least 30,000 students, RNP – the national research and education network (NREN) of Brazil – and partners have introduced an ambitious cyber-security initiative. The program “Hackers do Bem” – Hackers of good or, if you will, white hat hackers – addresses a significant deficit of professionals in cybersecurity. According to RNP estimates, more than 300,000 vacancies cannot be filled due to lack of manpower.

“This is a fundamental initiative. We have been working in security for many years. And we know that we are far short of what we can and need to create in Brazil to build a security culture. It was with great pleasure that we started (…) to discuss this long-term vision of having a complete training program in this area,” said Nelson Simões, RNP Director General, at the Hackers do Bem launch ceremony.

The program is a partnership between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Senai, the Association for the Promotion of Excellence in Brazilian Software (Softex), and RNP.

Qualification and experimentation

The focus of the program is students from technical, secondary, higher education, and professionals looking to specialize or change careers.

Training consists of five modules: leveling, basic, fundamental, specialized, and technological residency.

“We want to build, in the next three years, a capacity on a large scale, training thousands of students from secondary level. It is an ambitious program. It is based not only on qualification, but also on experimentation. We now have this challenge and a whole road ahead of us for the training of these human resources,” emphasized Nelson Simões.

Addressing a young audience

The courses offered will be coordinated by the Escola Superior de Redes (ESR). Last year, ESR enrolled about 4,000 new students. So, recruiting 30,000 students for the Hackers do Bem will take things to a new level, said Leandro Guimarães, ESR Assistant Director:

“Besides the scale, the semantics will be different. We will target a younger audience than we normally do. We will have to address basic understanding, such as what is a virus, what is an attack, ethics, and soft skills. We need to convey this large volume of information to youngsters aging between 14 and 18.”

The program also aims to create a national cybersecurity hub, a network designed to generate value for those participating in the initiative and the security ecosystem.


The text is inspired by the article “”We are going to train thousands of students from high school”, says Nelson Simões at the launch of Hackers do Bem” at the RNP website. Image: RNP.

Published: 11/2023

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