Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting hacked - it could happen to you too


Have you ever wondered about what it’s like to get hacked? Investigative journalist Adam Penenberg has, so he hired a group of ethical hackers to find out how 'hackable' he is. The rules didn't allow the hackers to do anything unlawful, for example breaking into Adam’s house, and they couldn't involve his kids either. However, besides these two conditions, the hackers, led by SpiderLabs founder Nicholas J. Percoco, were allowed to do anything to breach Penenberg’s privacy as much as possible.

“It’s my first class of the semester at New York University. I’m discussing the evils of plagiarism and falsifying sources with 11 graduate journalism students when, without warning, my computer freezes. I fruitlessly tap on the keyboard as my laptop takes on a life of its own and reboots. Seconds later the screen flashes a message. To receive the four-digit code I need to unlock it I’ll have to dial a number with a 312 area code. Then my iPhone, set on vibrate and sitting idly on the table, beeps madly.
I’m being hacked — and only have myself to blame.” – extract from Adam L. Penenberg’s article.

Percoco and his team spent several weeks trying to hack Penenberg and despite some difficulties in the early stages, their efforts eventually paid off. They got everything they needed. Within a relatively short time period, Percoco and his crew gained all the information, including passwords, login names, credit card details, etc. that could ruin someone’s life forever.

Twitter account, Facebook profile, Amazon account, online banking details, you name it. The hackers gained access to all of them. They even did a bit of shopping on Amazon and ordered 100 plastic spiders to Penenberg’s house, as a reminder of SpiderLabs.

At the end of the experiment Percoco gave a report to Penenberg, which listed their plans, as well as a log book of their progresses. To see the chilling results, read the full article

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.