Screaming Into The Abyss

Internet Security, Script Kiddies and The Mob
By Ben Zvan
On August 21, 2007 at 09:29

I just ran across this article by Scott Granneman from January 2004 about a visit he had to his classroom by an FBI field agent doing community outreach. I never thought computer security would be the subject of a community outreach project, but that doesn't mean I think it's a bad idea. Here are some selected outtakes:

"I have spent a considerable amount in the computer underground and have seen many ways in which clever individuals trick unsuspecting users. I don't think most people have a clue just how bad things are."
"Dave wouldn't name names, but he said several organizations that we would all know have been infiltrated electronically by Eastern Europeans, who then grab customer data. A few days later, the unsuspecting president of the bank gets an email demanding $50,000, or else the media will be told of the break-in. Of course, the break-in is news to the bank. As proof of their exploit, a spreadsheet is attached to the email, with a few hundred rows of client data: bank account numbers, home addreses, balances."
"You'll remember that I said he was using a ThinkPad (running Windows!). I asked him about that, and he told us that many of the computer security folks back at FBI HQ use Macs running OS X, since those machines can do just about anything: run software for Mac, Unix, or Windows, using either a GUI or the command line. And they're secure out of the box. In the field, however, they don't have as much money to spend, so they have to stretch their dollars by buying WinTel-based hardware. Are you listening, Apple? The FBI wants to buy your stuff. Talk to them!"

Things to think about.

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