Mitnick In The News
World?s ‘most famous hacker?, Kevin Mitnick, speaking in Australia August 2016
Jun 27, 2016 - itWire, by Alex Zaharov-Reutt
Australian business leaders can hear famed hacker Kevin Mitnick talking cyber threats at two conferences in Australia during August in Sydney and Melbourne.
Kevin Mitnick. It’s a name that should send fear, admiration and shivers up the spine of cyber security professionals. He was once a major "black hat hacker" with a notorious track record of incredible criminal success, so much so that he was once the FBI’s most wanted hacker.
As explained over at Wikipedia, Mitnick ultimately spent five years in jail and later successfully fought off attempts to stop him from accessing computers and the Internet upon regaining his freedom Today, he is a major "white hat hacker" running his own security company and a world-leading cyber security authority.
Mitnick is undeniably the real deal, and easily proves that "one foot in the door is all it takes" to threaten the stability of an organisation.
Indeed, as cybercrime continues to escalate across the world, costing millions of dollars and threatening the security of individuals, corporations and governments, it has never been more important for business to be aware of the risks and learn how to minimise them.
What Mitnick is doing in Australia this August is to "address business and government leaders on his insights on cyber threats, current trends and the role that social engineering plays – and what can be done to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks".
He has two events: one in Sydney on 24 August, and another in Melbourne on 26 August, and both will feature a "live hacking" demonstration, where Mitnick will show "how multiple devices can be exploited, exposing the vulnerabilities of organisations in an impressive and unsettling presentation".
It’s scary stuff, especially if you have security professionals in your business assuring you everything is ok, that security is up to scratch and no hacking has occurred.
Two incredibly salient quotes that Mitnick's business security customers have provided to him illuminate the previous sentence above in a most alarming fashion.
The chiefd executive of one wisely unnamed "financial company" said: “Kevin showed me the cheque he had written to himself using our internal system for US$6 million; I knew all of our preconceived notions of security had to be changed."
The there’s the chief executive of another wisely unnamed Fortune 500 Software Company, who said: "In two weeks, US$4 billion worth of our data and intellectual property was sitting in front of me on an external drive! My own team told me nothing was missing, the same team that had said hacking us would be impossible."
This is a clear and present indication of the dangerous lack of understanding businesses still have about cybercrime.
After all, it is the second most reported economic crime and while many organisations still view it is an IT issue, it clearly is not!
Mitnick says that "cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and persistent, evolving beyond the capabilities of traditional security responses. It is now imperative for executive management and boards to take a leading role in managing this risk in order to protect their organisations share value, intellectual property, client information and reputation".
He added: “Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in conjuring up new ways to hijack your system by exploiting technical vulnerabilities or human nature. I’m coming to Australia to show its business leaders how these hackers exploit your technological and human vulnerabilities and how to stop them getting access to your sensitive information.”
Not only will Mitnick’s events promise to provide a perspective rarely seen — from one of the world’s most famous ‘black hat’ hackers — but it may also serve as a catalyst for a reassessment of security processes in organisations, from the boardroom to the basement.
Those are Mitnick's words but it is obvious they cannot be glibly disregarded, so if you are keen to learn more, and to make sure that your security professionals aren’t brimming with false confidence, or if you’re a security professional yourself, looking to gain insight into a hacker’s perspective on how he sees your organisation and the holes he can poke it in to ultimately steal your data, then this is an unmissable event!
EVENT: CYBER THREATS: Insights from the World’s Most Famous Hacker
Sydney: Wednesday August 24, 10.00am – 3.00pm
Four Seasons Hotel, George Street, Sydney
Melbourne: Friday, August 26, 10.00am – 3.00pm
Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne
You can book your tickets at the ‘Mitnick Live’ website here http://www.mitnicklive.com/, with full agenda, speaking and pricing details now listed.
Plenty more below about Kevin, please read on!
Here’s some more information provided on who Kevin Mitnick is, and some examples of his work:
WHO IS KEVIN MITNICK?
As a young man, Kevin Mitnick became the world’s most notorious black hat hacker, known as the “World’s Most Wanted” social engineer and computer hacker by the FBI.
From the 1970s up until his last arrest in 1995 Kevin Mitnick skilfully eluded and bypassed corporate security safeguards, penetrating some of the most well-guarded systems, including, amongst countless others, the likes of IBM, Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation, Motorola, Netcom, and Nokia.
Mitnick has since reinvented himself as a white hat hacker. He is now a trusted security consultant to the Fortune 500 and governments worldwide.
He is the leader of the world's top Security Penetration Testing Team.
Kevin Mitnick and 'The Global Ghost Team' maintain a 100% successful track record of being able to penetrate the security of any system they are paid to hack into using a combination of technical exploits and social engineering.
Mitnick also mentors leaders, executives, and staff on both the theory and practice of social engineering, topics on which he is the leading global authority. He has been called before Congress (both the House and the Senate) to testify on security matters affecting the US. He has also been a commentator, security analyst, and interview subject on CNN, CNBC, Al Jazeera, CBC, BBC, Radio Moscow, Tech TV, and 60 Minutes to name a few.
Kevin's books include Art of Intrusion: The Real Story Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers and Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security, which are mandatory readings for security professionals.
His autobiography, Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker, a New York Times best seller, is now available in 15 languages.
EXAMPLES OF MITNICK’S WORK
A major internationally recognised credit bureau wanted an external party to challenge their security. Mitnick Security's team was deployed and simulated threats by black-hat attackers against the bureau. Using physical exploits and social engineering, the team penetrated critical systems and data centres.
The team could access the credit reports and personal information of consumers. As a result of the findings and recommendations, the bureau was able to dramatically improve their security.
The government of Ecuador was under the threat of having the presidential election stolen by hackers or hostile foreign governments capable of destabilising the country. Mitnick Security's team was engaged to protect and monitor the systems that tabulated Ecuador's 2013 elections to prevent tampering and manipulation.
Vulnerabilities were assessed, and security was improved. The elections went smoothly and all unwanted activities were blocked.