There are three rules for portraying a hacker in media. They have to be white; they have to wear a hoody; and they’re probably autistic.
The portrayal of neurodivergence as shorthand for ‘socially inept but highly skilled’ is slowly becoming recognised as an outdated stereotype. Not everyone displays savant syndrome, and most are completely capable of holding a conversation – or going on-stage at the Cybersecurity Festival, as Holly Foxcroft did last week.
For years neurodivergence has only been thought of in terms of the negatives: those who have difficulty communicating, are easily overwhelmed and procrastinate.