A few years ago, when Greg Martin was in his mid 20s and teaching a computer security course for NASA engineers, he stumbled on an arcane bit of information that stopped him cold: The original set of rules governing the Internet, created in September 1981, the month he was born.
That coincidence helped Martin understand a little better his improbable journey from rural Texas to the center of the fight against cyber crime. A former child hacker who commandeered his high school’s servers and spent his teens studying, manipulating and repairing some of the earliest computer networks, Martin’s life had paralleled the rise of the Internet, culminating with an explosion in data theft, corporate espionage and digital warfare that made him and a generation of other self-taught security experts some of the most sought-after figures in Silicon Valley. “I was just born at the right time,” he said.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.