Children hacking ostensibly well-protected computer systems. The FBI’s best beating a path to the exits. Unabated cyber assaults against big-name companies.
Sounds like it’s time to turn our cybersecurity-related concerns up to “11.”
Child hacks voting site
Forget Nickelodeon. One 11-year-old boy bypassed Spongebob Squarepants and his cohorts to spend time trying to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website.
It took him less than 10 minutes.
His effort was part of DEFCON 26, the annual hacking convention that highlights efforts to crack (allegedly) tough cyber barriers. In this case, though, “tough” is a misnomer. The boy’s ability to gain entry and change the voting results contained therein required less than half the time of a TV sitcom.
Only this is no laughing matter.
Event co-organizer Nico Sell told PBS NewsHour: “These things should not be easy enough for an 8-year-old kid to hack within 30 minutes, it’s negligent for us as a society.”
For its part, the National Association of Secretaries of State appeared to discount the result. The group claimed the actual websites, not a replica site, would be more difficult for a middle-schooler to penetrate.
Top cyber talent departing FBI
If the 11-year-old hacker sticks at it long enough, he might have a job waiting for him at the FBI. For a little while, anyway.
Politico reports that top cyber agents and supervisors are leaving for higher-paying corporate roles. The turnover comes at a bad time. These departures are occurring amid constant attacks from Russia and other bad actors. Also looming: the U.S. midterm elections. The last few weeks alone have seen a steady flow of cyber attack news:
- A successful cyber attack against a Congressional candidate in California
- An “unprecedented” attack on U.S. ATM machines
- A vulnerability that makes web applications, including WordPress, open to remote code execution attacks
The FBI’s loss of talent is relevant to all U.S. citizens, of course. But it may have particular repercussions for businesses. They’re the likelier targets of hackers, and they lose a strong line of defense with an FBI that isn’t optimally prepared to combat constant cyber attacks.
Hackers hit popular brands
Hackers and any state agencies sponsoring them enjoy seeing their work garner prominent headlines. That characteristic paints a large target on organizations with recognizable brands. Cybersecurity coverage from recent weeks indicates the hackers have made headway on this front.
- A hacker stole Snapchat’s source code and made it public
- Hackers breached Reddit’s network security in June and stole users’ backup data, source code, internal logs, and other files
- Information on up to two million T-Mobile customers leaked after an attack on the mobile network, though the leaks included no financial information
How safe is your network? What did your last penetration test turn up? If it’s been a while and you’re not sure or don’t recall, take the safest next step possible. Arrange for a thorough review of your cybersecurity protocols.
CTC Technologies is here to help. As the never-ending stream of cyber assault headlines suggests, businesses can’t rest for a moment when it comes to shoring up their cybersecurity needs. Whether you need a network security assessment, implementation of endpoint protection solutions, or data loss protection, we can begin immediately. Reach out to us online or at 734-408-0200 to speak to one of our cybersecurity specialists today. Then follow us on Twitter and Facebook for security updates.