Carnegie Mellon University

Hao-Wei Chen, Director of Information Security, Audible

Hacking for Good

In cyberspace, there are two types of hackers: white hats and black hats.

Cybersecurity expert Hao-Wei Chen (ENG 2013) definitely wears a white hat, protecting others from malicious online threats.

As a teenager in Taiwan in the early 2000s, Hao-Wei heard of cyberattacks on the government’s websites. It sparked his curiosity about hacking and ways to safeguard against cyberthreats — eventually evolving into the website to educate the public about online security.

“People did not have antivirus software, and it was very common to not have a firewall in those days,” he says. “I wanted to create a community for people interested in cybersecurity.”

Hao-Wei’s technical talent led him to Carnegie Mellon Univeristy to study information security and a role at Amazon, where he’s now the director of information security for Audible, the company’s audiobook division. He keeps the digital platform safe from cybersecurity threats and has recently served as a cybersecurity adviser for governmental agencies back home in Taiwan.

As an expat, navigating the highly competitive corners of the U.S. job market isn’t always easy, so Hao-Wei creates resources to help Taiwanese students early in their careers while also promoting Taiwan’s culture in the U.S.

He gives back to further those causes through a number of volunteer and nonprofit efforts including with the NEX Foundation and the Taiwan International Foundation.

“I try my best to contribute what I learned here and help others along their paths,” he says.

Story by Elizabeth Speed